The Allenby Bridge effectively serves as the West Bank’s only outlet to the outside world for Palestinians looking to travel abroad. Yet the Allenby facility is inadequate in many respects, characterized by long lines, abbreviated operating hours, and subpar air conditioning despite the intense Jordan Valley heat.
Why is it important?
The Israeli government has produced some plans to remedy the situation, including the construction of a new terminal and 24-hour operation. Such plans and other improvements merit American support. Making the Allenby crossing a more bearable experience by renovating the facility and extending its opening hours in order to process more travelers in an expeditious fashion will go a long way toward improving Palestinians’ qualify of life and building trust among Palestinians in a way that does not feel transactional or tit-for-tat.
Allenby Crossing to be Upgraded, Operate Around the Clock
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has recently visited the United States and met with US Ambassador to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, who presented Katz with requests regarding the border crossing between Jordan and Israel.
Among other things, Greenblatt asked to expand the crossing’s operational hours to 24 hours a day. Currently, it operates on weekdays from 7:30am to 1:30am and on weekends, from 7:30am to 3:00pm.
The minister responded to this request and instructed the Israel Airports Authority, which is responsible for the ground crossings, to open the terminal around the clock.
Hostility and Humiliation: The “Welcome” Awaiting Tourists at Israel’s Border Crossings
“The attitude there resembles that of a military regime, it isn’t meant for tourists,” adds another tour operator. “The lines are long, forcing our drivers to wait a long time when they pick up or drop off travelers, who also suffer from the slow, lengthy inspections.
“The tourists see how ugly our treatment of the Palestinians is,” he adds. “And it doesn’t matter how much you try to cover it up – this simply harms Israel’s image.”