Straits of Tiran
The Straits of Tiran (Arabic: مضيق تيران, Hebrew: מיצרי טיראן), are the narrow sea passages, about 13 km (8 miles) wide, between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separates the
Gulf of Aqabafrom the Red Sea. It is named after Tiran Islandlocated at its inflow, on which the Multinational Force and Observershas an observation post to monitor the compliance of Egyptin maintaining freedom of navigation of the straits as provided under the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Sanafir Islandlies to the east of Tiran, southeast of the shallow strait between Tiran and Saudi Arabia.
Jordan's only seaport of Aqabaand to Israel's only Indian Ocean seaportof Eilatis contingent upon passage through the Gulf of Aqaba, giving the Straits of Tiran strategic importance. Egypt's blockade of the Straits to Israeli ships and ships bound for Israel in 1956 and again in 1967 was a catalyst to the Suez Crisisin 1956 and the Six-Day Warin 1967.
International documents inconsistently refer to both the "Straits of Tiran" and the "Strait of Tiran". There are several passages formed by the islands between
Egyptand Saudi Arabia. The westernmost strait, between Egypt and the island of Tiran, overlooked by the Egyptian city Sharm el-Sheikhis the "Strait of Tiran". It has two passages deep enough to be navigable by large ships. The Enterprise passage, convert|950|ft|m deep, is right next to the Egyptian side, while the 240-foot-deep Grafton passage, surrounded by shallows, is to the east, nearer to the island of Tiran. To the east of Tiran, between it and Saudi Arabia, the other strait has reefs and shallows with a single channel convert|54|ft|m deep.Michael Oren, "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" (Oxford, 2002).cite journal | quotes = | author = Carl F. Salans | date = December 1968| title =Gulf of Aqaba and Strait of Tiran: Troubled Waters | journal = United States Naval InstituteProceedings | volume =94 | issue =56 | pages = | publisher = | location = | issn = | pmid = | doi = | bibcode = | oclc = | id = | url = | language = | format = | accessdate = | laysummary = | laysource = | laydate = | quote = ]
A project to build a convert|9.3|mi|km|sing=on bridge across the straits, linking Egypt and Saudi Arabia, is under consideration by the Egyptian government. A bridge at this point would bypass Israel, which physically stands between the Arab lands of Africa and the Arab lands of Southwest Asia. [Najla Moussa. [http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=799 "Bridge connecting Egypt, Saudi Arabia considered"] . "Daily News Egypt".
March 2, 2006.]
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