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Jordan River Bridges Reopened by Jordanian Authorities

Jordanian authorities today re-opened the Allenby and Damiya bridges spanning the Jordan River which they had shut down last Friday, blocking traffic from the West Bank. Traffic today was sparse however because there was no advance notice that the bridges would be open. Israeli officials said that as far as they were concerned, the bridges were never closed. But they were blocked on the Jordanian side last Friday to all traffic except trucks carrying relief supplies for the victims of last month’s Jordanian civil war. The closure, without prior warning, angered West Bank residents concerned about their relatives in Jordan. Even persons with official entry permits were turned back by Jordanian guards. Israelis said the shut-down may have been ordered to punish the West Bankers who had sided with the Palestinian guerrillas during the fighting in Jordan. Until last Friday both bridges carried heavy traffic from the West Bank as trucks rolled across with food, medicine, clothing and blankets for the civil war victims. Some of the relief consignments were provided by the Israeli government and the rest came from West Bank residents. A relief shipment was sent last Thursday by Arab employes of the Jerusalem municipality.

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