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PA calls for border crossing to open around the clock

Aug. 24, 2012 5:23 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 26, 2012 10:46 A.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Friday called on Israel to allow the Allenby Bridge border crossing to open 24 hours a day.

PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Sheikh told Ma'an that his ministry was optimistic about reaching an agreement to allow the border terminal to operate around the clock.

The Allenby Bridge, on the border of the West Bank and Jordan is the sole route for most Palestinians in the West Bank to travel abroad, and travelers must pass an Israeli checkpoint to leave or enter the West Bank.

Crossing director Nathmi Muhanna said that close coordination between Jordanian and Israeli authorities meant that few problems were experienced at the border over the summer, even though more travelers had used the crossing than usual this year.

"I thank the Israeli and Jordanian working crews for their coordination and efforts to facilitate the movement of passengers," Muhanna told Ma'an.

He said 65,000 people had left to Jordan and 53,000 entered the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge in August.

However, the expenses of the PA facility at the border exceeded its income, he added.
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