The destroyed and deserted terminal of the Gaza Strip’s former Yasser Arafat International Airport is located in Rafah. AFP / SAID KHATIB
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The opening of the Palestinians' first airport, in the presence of U.S. President Bill Clinton, was a symbol of the hopes for independence and peace kindled by the Oslo accords. But 25 years after the accords were signed, the airport in Gaza lies in tatters, along with Palestinian hopes for an independent state.When the airport opened in late 1998 it was one of the most tangible symbols of the Oslo accords.Officials said the airline had one Boeing 727, which could accommodate 145 passengers, and two smaller planes.Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath, who was there during Clinton's visit, said that for all involved, the airport and plans for a larger harbor in Gaza were major landmarks.Seven years later, after Hamas took control of Gaza, the site was further devastated by bombing.
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