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For first time, Jordan and PA conduct trade directly without Israeli intervention

Dec. 29, 2016 8:55 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 30, 2016 12:35 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The first shipment of vegetables crossed from Jordan directly to the occupied West Bank on Wednesday through the Allenby Bridge crossing, “without any Israeli intervention,” according to Palestinian Minister of Agriculture Sufiyan Sultan.

Sultan told Ma’an that the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Ministry of Agriculture recently signed an agreement with Israel to allow the import of agricultural and animal products from Jordan by Palestinians merchants, as opposed to the previous practice of being conducted through Israeli merchants.

Sultan said that Israeli merchants would buy products from Jordanian side, transport the goods to the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian merchants would then buy the products from the the Israeli merchants.

He added that meetings will soon be held with the Jordanian Minister of Agriculture to sign an agreement of agricultural trade between the Jordan and the PA.

Sultan expressed hopes that Israel would not “obstruct” importing and exporting products between Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territory in the future, adding that increased trade between Jordan and the occupied Palestine territory would “lessen the burdens put on the Palestinians.”

He added that following Israeli and Palestinian coordination, livestock, vegetables, and fruits will all soon be imported and exported between Palestine and Jordan without Israeli intervention.

Despite having a formal governing body in the occupied West Bank in the form of the PA, Israel controls all borders surrounding the territory, with military checkpoints and border crossings between Jordan and the West Bank, as well as between the West Bank and Israel, due to the lack of a resolution on Palestinian statehood and on the decades long Israeli occupation of the territory.

In September, the PA and Israel signed a memorandum which determined that international postal services between the occupied Palestinian territory and the rest of the world would from now on be handled exclusively by the PA through the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank, without Israeli intervention.

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