In the coming months the period of "summer visits" will begin at the Allenby Bridge Crossing and the Civil Administration is getting prepared accordingly, in order to allow a smooth and proper transit
(Communicated by COGAT – Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories)
The Allenby Bridge Crossing, located in the Jericho district, is a very important crossing in its capacity as an international crossing from Israel to Jordan, used by the Palestinian population in the West Bank, by East Jerusalem residents and by tourists and foreign citizens wishing to travel to Jordan. The summer period is known as an especially busy time, and the representatives of the Jericho District Coordination and Liaison Administration at the crossing (the Liaison Bureau) prepared ahead of time to streamline operations and to provide the best possible service to travelers.
As everywhere in the world, in the West Bank the summer is the time for vacations and trips, time for family visits as well as thriving tourism period – domestic and foreign. These contribute to a significant increase in the volume of passenger traffic entering and leaving via the Allenby Bridge in the summer months. During these months, an average of 11,000 passengers cross the bridge daily, compared with 6,000 passengers during the rest of the year. Last year, a new record was recorded in August, when 14,000 passengers passed through the crossing on a single day.
With the understanding that in the summer the activity of this important crossing must be more efficient, the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria along with Airport Authority prepared in advance. The preparations at COGAT included expanding the operation hours at the crossing to 24 hours and increasing the personnel manning the crossing. Soldiers and officers were added to the shifts at the bridge and soldiers received training at the Coordination and Liaison Administration Jericho in Arabic and on how to provide the best possible service to the passengers. Likewise, many coordination meetings were conducted with the Permits Center at the Headquarters of the Civil Administration, which is responsible for general Palestinian population registry in order to deal efficiently with problems of documentation and registration of passengers crossing the bridge.
"This summer, the Liaison Bureau prepared in a different and enhanced manner in order to address all the civil issues under its authority," said Major Joseph Hassan, commander of the Liaison Bureau at the Allenby Bridge. "We are committed to act in the fastest and most professional way to resolve any issue that is under our authority while preserving the work interfaces with the Palestinians and Jordanians and with the Airport Authority."
The Allenby Bridge Crossing, which is managed by the Jordanian Border Crossings Authority on the one hand and the Airports Authority of Israel on the other hand, is the only "gateway" for the entrance and exit of the Palestinian population on its way abroad. The bridge is used for both passengers and the transfer of goods entering and leaving the West Bank. The Civil Administration maintains a permanent representation at the Allenby Bridge Crossing, which, as part of its many functions, is also responsible for solving issues of documentation and population registry, providing high quality and efficient service for the travellers.
The crossing allows freedom of movement in and out of the country and contributes directly to the Palestinian economy by promoting a tourism in the region, supports the import and export of goods through the Bridge and keeps the Palestinian "lifeline" to the world open and accessible.
In recent years, the Civil Administration and the Airports Authority promoted many projects at the Allenby Bridge with the goal of upgrading the passenger experience and ease the wait at the crossing. During the last two years, projects were carried out at a cost of approximately 10 million NIS, and this year additional projects are being carried out to continue upgrading the crossing, funded by the Airport Authority and the Civil Administration.
"The existence of the Liaison Bureau at the Bridge is necessary. The Allenby Crossing cannot be managed without an entity that addresses the civil aspect," said Lt. Col. Raim Falah, Head of Coordination and Liaison Administration Jericho. "We are here to constitute a supporting civil arm, and our aim is to enable each passenger to exercise the right to pass through the bridge in the most rapid and respected way without any glitches."