Crowding and delays at King Hussein Bridge blamed on Israel

Jordan says Israel fails to comply with agreement reached

bags travelers
An undated photo of bags piled up at King Hussein Bridge border crossing. Improving travel procedures at the King Hussein Bridge is a goal that Jordan has been working on for years to facilitate the passage of Palestinians. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Travelers who use the King Hussein Bridge border crossing to reach the occupied West Bank have complained about significant crowding and delays in travel-related procedures, a situation Jordan blames on Israel, which fails to comply with the arrangements signed with Jordan, and which stipulate that the bridge stays open between 7am and 9pm.اضافة اعلان

The Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights (Hurryat), a Palestinian non-governmental organization, strongly condemned the situation at the Karama border crossing “where thousands of Palestinians are subjected daily to clear violations of their rights, humiliation and suffering”.

The center said the ongoing systematic policy of the Israeli occupation authorities “is a way to humiliate and violate the Palestinian citizen’s dignity” by reminding them constantly of the existence of the occupation which exercises sovereignty over the border crossings and the occupied land.

Jordanian sources said Israel does not comply with the specified bridge opening hours and, instead, allow only 80 buses to cross a day, which has contributed to crowdedness and increased traffic, especially nowadays when there is a significant increase in the number of travelers.

According to local media outlets, Jordan informed Israel of the need to adhere to the agreed working hours, regardless of the number of passengers, to alleviate the human suffering experienced by those crossing into the West Bank, especially in the summer time when temperatures are high and long waits are unbearable.

Since the beginning of July until Sunday, 155,000 passengers have crossed the bridge, according to information from the Ministry of Interior.

Under normal circumstances, the crossing process requires less than an hour; nowadays it takes 8 hours or more. This particular problem is not new; it has has been happening for years, getting worse by the year, yet no radical solution has been found yet.

Improving travel procedures at the King Hussein Bridge is a goal that Jordan has been working on for years to facilitate the passage of Palestinians. In an effort to solve the problem, Jordan has held talks with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to prolong working hours.

Jordan expressed its dismay to the Israeli side, where the Israeli minister of transport gave inaccurate statements and falsely claimed that discussions regarding this problem are still under way.

Head of Bridges Security Department Raafat Maaytah said that 300,000 travelers can be expected to need to cross the bridge toward the end of August. He added that there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of travelers into occupied West Bank, compared to last year.

The Israeli government said that it will keep the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan open 24 hours a day, in response to Moroccan and US intervention.

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