Israel opens Jalama border crossing to boost Palestinian economy
This is a positive sign that at least the business community is in touch with popular interest in developing cooperation between Israel and the business community in the West Bank. This is truly a major event allowing a free flow of traffic into Israel.
The Jalama crossing connecting the lower Galilee with the Palestinian city of Jenin was opened to vehicles on Tuesday for the first time in eight years.
The crossing was inaugurated in a ceremony, which included Quartet envoy Tony Blair, government ministers Silvan Shalom, Avishai Braverman and Matan Vilna'i, and Jenin Governor Musa Kadura.
Until Tuesday, the crossing was only open to pedestrian traffic. It is hoped that allowing vehicular traffic will increase the number of visitors and help boost the local Palestinian economy.
Economic cooperation can bring about dramatic change in the Middle East," said Shalom, deputy prime minister and minister for regional cooperation. "The Palestinians are still wary that the economic dialogue will come at the expense of the political dialogue - and that is a mistake."
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Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel