A pilot program testing the capacity of the Allenby crossing between the West Bank and Jordan to operate at all hours of the day was launched on Sunday after months of pressure from the Biden administration, spokespeople for the Transportation Ministry and Airports Authority confirmed to The Times of Israel.

The launch was pushed back several times, drawing the ire of the US administration, which had announced over the summer that Allenby would begin running 24/7 permanently in September. Recognizing the long waits that Palestinians often endure at the crossing, the initiative was included in a package of steps unveiled by the US aimed at improving Palestinian lives.

Israeli authorities initially notified their American counterparts that they didn’t have the staffing capacity to meet the US deadline and proposed the idea of a pilot program instead. The Transportation Ministry announced that the trial would launch on October 24, only to see that start date be missed as well when the chairman of the Airports Authority objected to a rollout in the middle of an election campaign. The Airports Authority directorate subsequently met and decided to move forward with the plan on Sunday.

The US expected the pilot program to extend for several weeks or months, a senior US official said last month, but the Transportation Ministry notified the Airports Authority that it will only last for a few days.

The Allenby crossing is currently only open from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends.

Queues to cross into Jordan can last hours or up to an entire day, creating a headache for Palestinians, who have a difficult time receiving permits to fly out of Ben Gurion Airport. As a result, most fly in and out of Amman, but are first forced to pay a series of additional fees to cross the border.

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A month late, Allenby crossing launches pilot of Biden-promised plan to run 24/7

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06.11.2022

A pilot program testing the capacity of the Allenby crossing between the West Bank and Jordan to operate at all hours of the day was launched on Sunday after months of pressure from the Biden administration, spokespeople for the Transportation Ministry and Airports Authority confirmed to The Times of Israel.

The launch was pushed back several times, drawing the ire of the US administration, which had announced over the summer that Allenby would begin running 24/7 permanently in September. Recognizing the long waits that Palestinians often endure at the crossing, the initiative was included in a package of steps unveiled by the US aimed at improving Palestinian lives.

Israeli authorities initially notified........

© The Times of Israel


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