Border Crossing to Jordan to Open 24/7


israelA ministerial committee responsible for ameliorating the economic situation of Palestinians in the West Bank decided today that the Allenby Bridge border crossing between Israel and Jordan will be open 24 hours a day. Present in the session, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said “where we can ease [the lives of Palestinians] without endangering the security of Israeli citizens, we will do as much as possible to make the day-to-day routine easier.” Netanyahu appointed Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom as point man on good will gestures to the Palestinians.

Recently, Israel approved a series of actions that would improve the quality of life of Palestinians in the West Bank. Among the gestures, Palestinians crossing the Hawara Checkpoint south of Nablus on foot will no longer have to undergo security checks. The checkpoint still stands however, and is still manned by several IDF soldiers. The move aims to ease the flow of traffic in the area.

In the last few months soldiers ceased checking Palestinian cars at the checkpoint.

Settlement residents and hawkish right-wing elements slammed the move, saying the lives of the area’s residents have been “forfeited.” The Hawara Checkpoint was a hotspot of terror, and dozens of terrorists carrying knives and explosive belts were caught their.

OC Central Command Maj. -Gen. Gadi Shamni has nevertheless declared the checkpoints around Nablus as closed military zones, but this was mainly aimed at preventing Machsom Watch and other left wing groups from arriving there. Machsom Watch is an organization of Israeli women who proclaim themselves to be “peace activists working against the Israeli occupation of the territories and the systematic repression of the Palestinian nation.”

Ministers at the committee were also updated on the government’s intention to remove additional checkpoints, in an effort to further improve the Palestinians’ ability to travel around the West Bank.

{Yair Israel/JPost}