Allenby Bridge Expanded

 

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in the 1990's, Allenby Bridge has been the primary crossing point for Palestinians traveling between Israel and Jordan as well as the primary commercial goods terminal. In recent years, there have been significant resources invested in developing and expanding the crossing point in order to improve services for travelers and increase commercial activity.

Allenby Bridge is the primary border crossing between Israel and Jordan, and is the largest crossing terminal in all of Judea and Samaria. As agreed upon in the Oslo Accords, Allenby is the international transit point for Palestinians from both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The terminal is also used for the import and export of goods into and from the areas of the Palestinian Authority. Given the critical nature of Allenby, the terminal operates every day of the year only with the exception of Yom Kippur and the first day of Eid el-Adha.

Allenby bridge has a long and distinguished history. It was first built from wood during the Ottoman period in the late 19th century, and was called Al A'oriinh, signifying the area of the Jordan River Valley. The bridge was subsequently destroyed by a flood, and then later rebuilt by the British. It was the British who gave it its current name. 'Allenby Bridge' was named after Federal Marshal Edmund Allenby commander of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force  

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Between 1967-1982 the bridge was operated by the Israeli military government, until the Civil Administration was established and management was transferred.

Operations changed again after Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994. Jordan took control of the Jordanian side, and on the Israeli side it is administered by the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) in conjunction with the Civil Administration. It was most recently rebuilt in 2001, financed by JICA(?) the Japanese development organization. In 2009 it was officially renamed Hussein Bridge to honor the late Jordanian King.

Over the past several years there has been enormous effort and emphasis placed on upgrading services and infrastructure at the crossing with the goal of improving traveler experience and commercial capacity. Some 650 million NIS has been invested in these different projects, with funds provided by the Civil Administration, the Israel Airports Authority and foreign countries.

One key project financed by Holland has been the Dutch scanner, which was recently installed and is scheduled to commence operation in 2017. This new scanner installation will enable security checks for commercial goods roughly 30 times faster than the current inspection process, which requires trucks to unload goods. Further improvements in transit efficiency are planned, which will allow several trucks to be inspected simultaneously.

As part of the terminal's pedestrian expansion, duty free stores are expected to open on both sides of the bridge. These stores will be accessible to all travelers transiting through Allenby Bridge. 

Numbers don't lie. Over the past decade, these improvements have more than doubled capacity; currently an average of 4,700 travelers pass through each day (). The same applies to commercial goods, for the same period, the number of trucks has quadrupled. Today, about 40 trucks from Judea and Samaria cross into Jordan daily.

In the summer of 2016, around 5,000 tourists passed through Allenby Bridge in order to visit holy sites such as Palestinians leaving for the Hajj, as well as for tourists coming to visit holy sites in Judea and Samaria.