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Ben Gurion Canal Project

11th November, 2023 International Relations

Ben Gurion Canal Project

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  • The Ben Gurion Canal Project was first envisioned in the 1960s.

Ben Gurion Canal Project

  • The Ben Gurion Canal Project or Israeli Canal is a proposed canal project through the state of Israel.
  • It would connect the Gulf of Aqaba to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • David Ben Gurion, for whom it would be named, is considered the Founding Father of Israel and was the first Prime Minister of Israel.
  • The canal would rival the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal which runs through Egypt and has had many disturbances in its history, such as the Israeli blockage through the Suez Canal and Straits of Tiran, the Closure of the Suez Canal (1956–1957), Closure of the Suez Canal (1967–1975), and the 2021 Suez Canal obstruction.
  • It would be almost one-third longer than the 193.3 km Suez Canal, at around 292.9 km.


  • Starting from the Southern end at the Gulf of Aqaba, by the port city of Eilat in Israel on the Israeli and Jordanian border, through the Arabah Valley for about 100 km between the Negev Mountains and the Jordanian Highlands and veers West before the Dead Sea basin and the Dead Sea which is 430.5 metres below sea level, and heads through a valley in the Negev Mountain Range, then heads North again to get around the Gaza Strip and link up with the Mediterranean Sea.

Urgency of the Israeli Ben Gurion Canal

  • The project is driven by the need to restrain the rise of the economic power of China, and to hold back its ongoing project “One Road, One Belt”.
  • The Chinese project aims to build a train line that starts from the provinces of China in the west towards West Asia and secure water routes around the world.
  • The US is trying to hamper the Chinese trade route by creating an alternative route to compete with. So, the new stage of struggle will witness an economic war aiming to control seaports and global trade routes.

Significance of the Project

  • The Ben Gurion symbolizes a tectonic shift in global trade dynamics.
  • Significantly broader than its counterpart, the Suez Canal, its design intends to usher in a new age of maritime efficiency.
  • Beyond accommodating an increased volume of ships because it would be built on hardier terrain than the sand in the Suez, the canal can be crafted to permit simultaneous two-way traffic, allowing vessels to transit in both directions concurrently.
  • This project isn't just a logistical enhancement; it's a profound assertion of Israel's intention to become the fulcrum of global maritime commerce.
  • Ben Gurion Canal Project, once completed, would transform global maritime dynamics by taking away Egypt's monopoly over the shortest route between Europe and Asia.
  • By directly contesting the Suez Canal's longstanding dominance, the stage is set for Western powers to wrestle financial and geopolitical control from Egypt. This nation has been the sentinel of this pivotal passageway for generations. This shift isn't merely about diversifying revenue streams; it's an overt strategy to re-orient the balance of power.


Q. What are 2+2 meetings and what is the rationale behind them? List the Defence and strategic agreements under 2+2.