Ben Gurion Canal Project: Joining Red Sea with Mediterranean

Current Affairs, Trivia

Israel’s aspirations to gain full control over the Gaza Strip and eliminate Hamas may be linked to an ambitious economic opportunity—the creation of the Ben Gurion Canal Project.

Ben Gurion Canal Project

  • Vision: The Ben Gurion Canal Project, named for David Ben-Gurion, the father of Israel, is still an ambitious infrastructural project.
  • Route: It aims to undermine Egypt’s hegemony over the Suez Canal by constructing a canal that would cross the Negev Desert and link the Gulf of Aqaba with the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • History: In a 1963 US government paper that was classified as secret, the possibility of excavating the canal with nuclear explosions was considered.
  • Need: It would provide a different path, avoiding the Suez Canal, to link Europe and Asia.
  • Transformational Impact: If successful, this project will end Egypt’s monopoly on the shortest trade route and change the dynamics of international trade.

Bypassing the Suez

  • Historical Significance: By cutting travel times between Europe and Asia, the Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, transformed international maritime trade.
  • Problems with Congestion: The Suez Canal is still extremely congested, which results in major delays and financial losses, even with efforts to expand it.
  • Political problems: Egypt’s authority over the canal has sparked battles and conflicts that have an effect on world geopolitics.

Logistical and Political Challenges

  • Complexity and Cost: The Ben Gurion Canal’s construction is an enormous and expensive undertaking that could wind up costing over $100 billion.
  • Length of path: Because of geographical constraints, the suggested canal path is more than 100 kilometers longer than the Suez Canal.
  • Security Concerns: Operating the canal would be extremely difficult in the event of ongoing military threats, such as rockets from Hamas or Israeli attacks.

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