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PA Minister: Allenby Bridge crossing to operate 24 hours a day

June 1, 2017 2:04 P.M. (Updated: June 1, 2017 8:18 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said in a statement Thursday that the Israeli-controlled Allenby Bridge border crossing would soon be open 24 hours a day, five days a week.

According to al-Sheikh, the border crossing between the occupied West Bank and Jordan will start working for 24 hours a day, every day of the week except Friday and Saturday, starting from June 20 until October.

The statement added that beginning in 2018 the 24-hour per day, excluding Fridays and Saturdays, will be implemented permanently.

The border crossing serves hundreds of Palestinians daily, as Palestinians living in the occupied territory are unable to use Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport -- with the exception of a few special permit holders -- and therefore must cross through the Allenby Bridge to access the Amman airport in order to travel abroad.

COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, released a statement confirming that a meeting was held between Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli leaders, in a "continuation to the President of the United States visit in Israel," where the two sides agreed on a number of "steps" to ease the economic situation for the Palestinian territory. 

These steps included the opening of the Allenby crossing to 24-hours per day, five times a week, the "expansion of the crossing work hours in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and upgrading them," while the statement also said that an "industrial zone" was being established near the Tarqumiyah crossing in the West Bank district of Hebron, and reforms concerning "Israeli enforcement policies" in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control -- would be "adjusted." 

Meanwhile, reports later emerged that Israeli authorities had reopened several roads that had restricted the freedom of movement for Palestinians in several villages in Ramallah, saying that the measures were implemented to ease restrictions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

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