RAMALLAH, Tuesday, July 19, 2022 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that Palestine is coordinating with neighboring Jordan to resolve the agony of tens of thousands of Palestinians traveling across their common border going through al-Karama/King Hussein/Allenby bridge border crossing, a problem officials held Israel responsible for it.
Shtayyeh said he is coordinating with Jordan to get Israel, which controls the Palestinian side of the crossing, to keep it open 24 hours a day, seven days a week as is the case in all international crossings and airports, in order to facilitate movement of people in and out of the country. Israel allows the crossing to remain open between 8:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. on weekdays, sometimes closing it even earlier, and until noon on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Prime Minister suggested that commercial trucks use a different route than travelers in order to facilitate movement on the only crossing to the outside world for the millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank who are not allowed to use the Israeli airport to leave the country and come back.
Hussein al-Sheikh, the Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), held the Israeli government responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian travelers across the bridge crossing.
“We hold the government of Israel responsible for the catastrophic conditions at al-Karama crossing (King Hussein Bridge). We are conducting intensive contacts with our brothers in Jordan to find solutions to this tragic situation experienced by the Palestinians in their movement,” he said, calling on Israel “to take the necessary measures to end this suffering.”
The border authorities said tens of thousands of Palestinians are trying to return home after a trip abroad during the Muslim Al-Adha holiday, which ended last week, and for the summer holiday after two years of restrictions due to the corona pandemic. However, Israeli restrictions on the number of people allowed to reach its side of the border coming from Jordan, limiting it to only 4000 a day, left thousands stranded and stuck in Jordan for several days awaiting an opportunity to cross the bridge, where the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius during the day, and return home to the West Bank. There were many cases of children and elderly people fainting from the heat and long hours of waiting.
Officials expect the crisis and suffering of the travelers to continue until the end of this month.