Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Israel releases ten tonnes of Palestinian mail after 8 years

By Maria Correia - August 21, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [border crossings] [Israeli border police]

Postal workers in Jericho are currently going through Palestinian mail that has been held in Jordan for eight years by Israel.

Since 2010 the mail has accumulated to about 10.5 tonnes of undelivered mail. Israeli authorities had finally allowed for the mail to enter Jericho in the West Bank through the Jordan borer.
Ramadan Ghazawy, a Palestinian postal official, said that Israel did not honour an agreement Palestine and Israel made for Palestinians to be able to send mail directly through Jordan.
The agreement was made in 2008. Although mail was delivered through Jordan, Israel blocked its entry and denied any direct transfer to the Palestinian Authority.
“It was blocked because each time they used to give us a reason and an excuse. Once they said the terminal, the building that the post was supposed to arrive to is not ready and once to wait, they’re expecting a larger checking machine,” Ghazawy stated.
Israeli Authorities are assuring that something like this would not happen again as the parties are in the process of implementing a 2016 agreement, which would allow international mail to directly reach the West Bank.
The agreement signed in 2016 was to give the Palestinian Authority rights to handle international mail directly, coming through Allenby Bridge between Jordan and Jericho.
Prior to this, Israel had controlled all Palestinian mail, in direct contradiction to the 2008 agreement.
Cogat, the Israeli defence unit responsible for West Bank civilian affairs, stated that the release of this mail was a gesture, and that although both sides came to an agreement on postal delivery, a 'direct transfer’ has not yet occurred.
Allam Mousea, the Palestinian telecommunications minister, resonated dissatisfaction with Israel’s broken promises as they continue to delay the implementation of the 2016 agreement and mail is still being blocked at Jordan.
The director general of the Palestinian Post Service Hussein Sawafta assured that “a team was formed across the city to deliver [the mail] to the people as soon as possible.”
It is estimated to take two weeks to sort out through the mail and get it delivered to their rightful recipients.
Ghazawy added that once the over 10 tonnes of mail was delivered to the Palestinian postal office, it was all mixed up and not classified.
As mail to the West Bank and Gaza has to pass though Israeli control, mail is subject to being held for security checks. All mail addressed to Palestinian territories undergoes an inspection.

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