Dutch Foreign Minister visits the Allenby Bridge

Yesterday (Wednesday), the Dutch Foreign Minister, Uri Rosenthal, paid a visit to the Allenby Bridge, where he met with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major-General Eitan Dangot, in light of the installation of a new merchandise scanner donated by the Dutch Government.

Date: 07.06.12     Author: Ron Ben Hamo

The tour took place at the location where the new merchandise scanner will be placed, with an Israeli investment of millions of NIS for the erection of appropriate infrastructures needed in order to properly operate the scanner. “Last year, approximately 20,000 trucks had passed through the crossing, and during the current year, 30,000 trucks passed through it, and with this new scanner, we will reach a figure of 50,000 trucks”, said the crossing director, Mr. Yonatan Dotan.

The visit was guided by Major-General Eitan Dangot, the crossing director Yonatan Dotan, accompaniment of Dutch Embassy representatives, Palestinian senior officers and Quartet representatives. “We are glad about the steps taken by the Dutch Government, and the fact that both we and the Palestinian representatives are here proves that we are all connected to the project and want it to succeed”, said Major General Dangot. “Every year, tens of thousands of trucks pass here and it’s a chance to invest together and to see the immediate influence exerted on the crossing”.

On February 26th, 2012, an agreement was signed between the Governments of Israel and the Netherlands, concerning a joint declaration for the placing of scanning equipment at the Allenby Bridge, and ultimately, at the Kerem-Shalom Crossing as well. The purpose of this scanner is to enable to increase the number of travelers from Gaza and from Samaria and Judea to Jordan, and from there to different countries across the globe.

Additionally, the scanner is intended to improve and upgrade the waiting times and merchandise delivery procedures at the Allenby Bridge crossing, which is active 7 days a week, with hundreds of trucks and 12,000 to 30,000 travelers passing through the bridge on a daily basis. “We have here a joint effort to improve the service provided, and with this brand new scanning equipment we will not only be able to increase our quantities of exported merchandise but also their quality”, said the financial advisor of Salam Fayyad, Mr. Mazen Jadallah.

“That’s a very important moment for the Government of the Netherlands, we have worked together for a long period of time in order to attain this result and we shall continue to work in order to promote the Palestinian economy and imports & exports through the Allenby Bridge”, said the Dutch Foreign Minister and added that “Beyond the economic aspect, it’s also good to see the cooperation that is taking place between the Israelis and the Palestinians”.

Israel continues to develop the Allenby crossing and is expected to invest in the future millions of NIS in the development of the crossing’s infrastructure, through which approximately 700,000 travelers are expected to pass during July – August.  Those projects include: Renovation of the air conditioning systems, installation of security check stations, structure reinforcement against earthquakes and the continued upgrading of the halls.  Also, Hall 14 will be inaugurated today (Thursday) – the crossing’s new public reception hall.