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Boost for West Bank-Jordan trade

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The West Bank and Israel could double trade with Jordan after new security measures were opened at the Allenby border crossing by Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Palestinian Authority (PA) National Economy Minister Abeer Odeh.

A new system for scanning cargo containers will enable 200 containers to cross between Jordan and the West Bank each day, double the current number, according to Israel’s Tax Authority.

At the ceremony unveiling the new device, Odeh said that “the new mechanism will save exporters and importers a lot of efforts and costs and will facilitate the trade movement, which will contribute to the development of various economic sectors in Palestine”.

Kahlon said that he “arrived at the Finance Ministry after a long period of stagnation in the relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” but that Israel has “many plans to continue our financial cooperation with the (Palestinian) Authority” (PA).

Kahlon also confirmed reports from Israel’s Hadashot TV news that he will meet PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Sunday as part of efforts to advance “a number of joint projects”.

On Monday, Kahlon and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) General Yoav Mordechai will meet US envoy Jason Greenblatt to discuss economic issues related to the peace process.

Kahlon said that Greenblatt “supports and is pressing to continue to advance things. We see in Greenblatt and in the United States central, important and fair mediators and the only ones to advance cooperation in the region”.