Israel and the Palestinians estimate that the crossing's reopening will boost the economic situation in Jenin
The Jalama crossing connecting Israel's lower Galilee with the Palestinian city of Jenin was opened to vehicles on Tuesday, 10 November, for the first time in eight years.
The crossing is the joint initiative of Gilboa Regional Council head Danny Atar and Jenin governor Kadura Musa.
The Jalame checkpoint was closed in 2000, shortly after the Palestinian civil unrest began. Israel and the Palestinians estimate that the crossing's reopening will boost the economic situation in Jenin.
The Jalama crossing is planned to serve thousands of people who wish to visit Jenin and other Palestinian cities.
Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror noted that "We anticipate 500 cars a day on weekends”.
The crossing was inaugurated in a ceremony, which included Quartet envoy Tony Blair, Israel's Minister of Regional Cooperation and Development ,Silvan Shalom, Minister of Minority Affairs, Avishai Braverman, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i, and JeninGovernor Musa Kadura.
“Opening the crossing will promote the Palestinian economy by bringing in Israeli Arabs as consumers to Palestinian cities." Blair praised the opening of the crossing, saying that it might look like a simple act, but it indicated something larger and more meaningful.
Opening the crossing saves people long drives, having to go around using alternates routes and crossings. It now takes 10 minutes to get to Jenin, whereas before, it could have taken up to an hour." The crossing in Jalama is staffed by civilian employees of a private manpower agency.