Hope. Mobility. Stability

On October 26th of 2015, Project Unified Assistance (PUA) was formed as a nonprofit organization based in the United States. Our initial purpose in the Articles of Incorporation was to "promote the freedom of movement for the people of the Gaza Strip through the establishment of an airport in the coastal enclave to be operated and regulated by the United Nations and to engage in other lawful activities consistent with this purpose." A year later, our concept has grown, and our vision is strengthened by the positive reactions and responses to our initiative. Support for our flagship project, the Gaza Airport Proposal (GAP), is alive and strong. We are humbled by our success in the first phase of this endeavor, which has grown despite extremely challenging geopolitical conditions in Israel and Palestine and the Middle East in general. 
What Follows Are the Ten Most Important Achievements of Phase One of Our Vision - PUA:

1. Acquired U.S. federal tax-exempt status for the organization in accordance with complex legal requirements, rules, and regulations, particularly those that govern international development work in unstable parts of the world.

2. Developed and presented a new comprehensive vision for the Gaza Airport by proposing a humanitarian, service-based framework for creating and operating the airport.

3. Established fundamental and essential technical details for making the proposed airport feasible and practical and to address the complex geopolitical needs of relevant parties.

4. Created a large network of volunteers and advisers, throughout the world and the Palestinian Territories, who possess needed skills and expertise in relevant fields and who have significant contacts to help grow the proposal and expand its reach.

5. Mobilized popular support for the proposed U.N. airport with the Palestinian people through strategic use of social media, public outreach, publishing stories in local media outlets, and sharing relevant educational materials publicly. This helped shift the airport issue from a political one to a popular, grassroots demand for the right to travel freely in a manner consistent with Article 13 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Our verified Facebook page (which has acquired over 45,000 "likes," of which 40,000 are from Palestine) has become the primary platform for communicating with the Palestinian people.

6. Conducted a diplomatic outreach campaign to Palestinian, Arab, Middle Eastern, and international parties to educate them about the proposed U.N. airport and stimulate creative discussions about how it can be implemented.

7. Acquired preliminary approval for PUA's vision for the proposed airport from the Palestinian President and presented relevant details to Palestinian officials. 

8. Received a non-objection (approval) through intermediaries from Hamas regarding PUA's vision of third party international management of the airport as well as the critical issue of land use. Specifically, PUA received guarantees about the al-Mawasi area on the southwestern coast of Gaza between Khan Yunis and Rafah.

9. Presented the proposal to international experts, groups, and organizations in the United States, Europe, Israel and Palestine to inform and engage them about the Gaza Airport Proposal.

10. Opened channels with Israeli citizens and organizations who are interested in the proposed airport and began developing relationships with members of the Jewish community in the United States.

There are many historic and contemporary precedents that make the Gaza Airport Proposal (GAP) feasible and practical: the United States (UN) ran an airport in Gaza during the 1950s and 60s; for the last 30 years, the UN has and continues to conduct humanitarian air operations in areas impacted by violence and disasters; Gaza had a short-lived airport in the last 20 years; international E.U. monitors operated the Rafah Border Crossing in 2005 and 2006; and since the 2014 war, the UN's Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has been implementing the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) with the help of a private company (CTG Global) to ensure that dual-use materials are not diverted for illegitimate use in militant activities. GAP is about hope, mobility and stability for two million people.

The Ten Most Critical Next Steps to Execute Phase Two of PUA's Vision:

1. Reach out to Israeli decision-makers in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and present the Gaza Airport Proposal and its details to them.

2. Continue to develop a relationship with the Palestinian Authority and obtain public diplomatic support from Ramallah for the proposed airport and plan concrete action steps.

3. Communicate with relevant U.N. bodies to discuss various components of the proposed airport and to develop a framework for implementing it with international support.

4. Study the model of the European Union Border Assistance Mission Rafah (EUBAM Rafah) which administered the Rafah Border Crossing from 2005 to 2006 to determine if any of its components can be used for the proposed airport.

5.  Conduct an extensive educational outreach campaign via diplomatic and media channels in the Middle East and internationally.

6. Continue to generate widespread support among the Palestinian people for the proposed airport.

7. Fundraise for PUA's operations and communicate with possible funding sources to finance the construction and operation of the airport.

8. Seek funding specifically for the development of a Master Plan for the implementation of the proposed airport to include aviation, engineering, security, and risk-management components.

9. Consider creating a symbolic, ground-breaking ceremony to be sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and U.N./international officials when significant progress has been made with getting the proposed airport approved by Israel and other relevant parties.

10. Examine options for opening a regional presence/office in the Gaza Strip that could be managed via a professional private company such as "CTG Global - International Humanitarian Support" which manages the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) on behalf of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). 
Below are Relevant Details, Important Context and History, and Ways in Which You Can Contribute to Implementing the G.A.P.

New Proposed Location on the Coast in Comparison to the Old Location of the Destroyed Gaza Airport in the South-Easternmost Tip of the Strip

Proposed Flight Paths to Connect Gaza with Destinations in Four Countries Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

Fleet Options
Prospective Air Charter Partners (private companies which have worked for the U.N. in the past): 

Safair (South Africa), Swiftair (Spain), Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia), Air Urga (Ukraine), Jordan Aviation (Jordan), UTair Aviation (Russian Federation), or Silkway Airlines (Azerbaijan).
 No Objections from Hamas to a Proposal to
Establish a U.N. Airport in Gaza
Donia Al Watan - October 12, 2016
Project Unified Assistance (PUA), an American NGO, has received through intermediaries a non-objection [approval] from Hamas, the de facto government of Gaza, of its proposal to establish an internationally-run airport administered by the United Nations in the Gaza Strip.  Full Piece .
Palestinians Show Interest in a Proposal 
for a U.N. Airport in Gaza  
Donia Al Watan - September 22, 2016
An American NGO, Project Unified Assistance (PUA), has confirmed that it generated considerable interest from the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in its proposal to establish a U.N.-operated airport in Gaza.  Full Piece
Gaza Deserves an Airport of Its Own, 
and This is How It Can Work  
Oren Kroll-Zeldin - December 12, 2015
Recent wars, a crippling blockade, and poor governance have rendered Gaza an increasingly difficult place to live for its 1.8 million residents. Poverty, lack of access to food and other essential resources, and the inability to move freely create complex conditions of survival for those living in the coastal enclave. A recent World Bank report notes that Gaza has the world's highest unemployment rate, and youth unemployment specifically is higher than 60 percent. At the present rate, the United Nations estimates that it would require "herculean efforts" for Gaza to remain inhabitable in the year 2020, and if the humanitarian situation is not addressed, the damage will be irreversible. Full Piece .
Examples of Effective U.N. Humanitarian Air Operations

U.N. Emergency Force Airport in Gaza (1950s and 60s)

UN Force (UNEF) heads to the Congo.1 July 1960, Gaza Airstrip. 
U.N. Photo # 138582. Photo Source: United Nations Multimedia

United Nations Emergency Force in Gaza
1965, Gaza Airstrip
Gord Jenkins, National Defence Image Library, 
Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Center

Guess Who Was in Gaza 18 Years Ago Opening an International Airport, Albeit a Short-Lived One? 

Want to Be a Part of Implementing the Proposed Humanitarian Airport in Gaza? You Can Do So Via One of Three Methods:

1- Connect us with prospective allies in international NGOs, governments, the UN, and other relevant entities. This includes officials, organizations' staff, or corporate firms who work with airports, humanitarian aviation, engineering, risk-management, and diplomatic advising. Whether it is an email introduction, sharing contact details, or sending materials on our behalf, such a contribution could go a long way as some of our progress has evolved out of unusual encounters.  *

2- Give constructive feedback, suggestions or creative ideas.  Share them with us by replying to this email.*

3- Support our work and help us grow PUA as an organization or contribute to specific needs/projects:  you can donate securely online via credit card (service through Network for Good), or by sending a check in the mail (PUA - P.O. Box 411506 - San Francisco, CA 94141), or lastly, by arranging for a securities' donation of stocks or mutual funds. For questions or concerns, please email us at donations@unifiedassistance.org or call +1 (650) 270-4032 **

Note * Project Unified Assistance (PUA) is an independent nonprofit that is not affiliated with the United Nations or any other organization. 

Note * For the next two years, we forecast spending over 90% of PUA's revenue in the United States. PUA is a tax-exempt organization - donations are tax-deductible to the extent permissible by law. Our U.S. Federal Tax ID is 47-5680254. Any business or transactions conducted in the Palestinian Territories or abroad will be in compliance with OFAC regulations and recommendations.  
Project Unified Assistance (P.U.A.) is a U.S.-based humanitarian nonprofit organization advocating for the establishment of a U.N. operated and regulated airport in the Gaza Strip.

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