Palestinians Begin Manning Border Crossings at Rafah and Allenby Bridge

Palestinian police began manning border crossings this week between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and between the West Bank and Jordan.

Palestinian police took up positions at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Monday. A similar move was expected Tuesday at the Allenby Bridge crossing separating the West Bank from Jordan.

The agreement to station Palestinian police at the two crossings was spelled out in the Palestinian self-rule accord that went into effect in May, but was not implemented until now.

The Palestinian police will have jurisdiction over Palestinians entering the two autonomous areas from either Egypt or Jordan.

Israeli border police will be responsible for Israelis, foreign nationals and Palestinians traveling to areas in the West Bank other than the autonomous Jericho enclave.

Israeli security officials, who will continue to be responsible for overall security at both borders, will also be able to monitor Palestinian security inspections from behind tinted windows and will be able to keep out those they consider undesirable.

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are meanwhile nearing completion for the opening of a safe passage route between Gaza and Jericho. The route may be open as early as next week.

Israel is demanding strict control over armed Palestinians using the route, insisting that only senior Palestinian officials and security officers be allowed to carry weapons while using the roadway, which will take them through Israel.

NEXT STORY