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Gaza Airport Named After Arafat

April 30, 1998

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) _ Palestinians’ still-unopened airfield got a name today, after a less-than-suspenseful wait: It’s Yasser Arafat International Airport.

Aviation officials announced the name, honoring the Palestinian leader, on the same day that Israel is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a nation.

The opening of the airport, a powerful symbol of independence to the Palestinians, has been delayed for nearly three years because of disputes with Israel over security arrangements.

The airport is in the southern end of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have a fledgling airline, which operates _ for now _ from the Egyptian airfield at El Arish near Gaza.

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