The Allenby Border crossing, which connects the West Bank to Jordan, is slated to remain open 24 hours a day following negotiations between Israel and Jordan mediated by the U.S. and Morocco.
This is one of the tangible fruits of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the region – and an important reminder that, counter to extremists who decry the Abraham Accords as treason against Palestinians, Arab states are using normalization with Israel to promote the Palestinian cause and bring stability to the region.
The accords put into action a virtuous circle: these states that make peace with Israel are now able to facilitate exploring and implementing steps to improve relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, while also finding ways to ease the lives of Palestinians.
The joint mediation effort from the U.S. and Morocco, leaning on close relations between Rabat and Amman, would have been difficult to imagine prior to the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel in December 2020.
The new agreement will significantly ease travel for Palestinians from the West Bank. Constant access to the Allenby Bridge, beginning at the end of September, is a major improvement given that the land crossing is currently open only 14 hours a day, from Sunday to Thursday, and about six hours on Friday and Saturday.
Israel’s Minister of Transport Meirav Michaeli thanked the Kingdom of Morocco for the mediation efforts, citing His Majesty’s “continued commitment and efforts to promote peace and prosperity in the Middle East.”
The Allenby Crossing achievement further points to the important role Morocco can play in brokering future confidence-building measures between Israel and the Palestinians – and that under His Majesty’s leadership, Morocco is a solid partner in the quest not only to build bridges between Israel and the P.A., but also to advance regional stability and peaceful resolutions to conflicts in general.
While Biden’s trip to the region was no whirlwind of policy changes, it did unveil an ongoing, albeit silent revolution of Arab states working with the U.S. and Israel to promote stability in the region and to promote a better future for Palestinians. In this regard, Morocco’s successful mediation of the Allenby Crossing deal can be seen as a promising example of how Israel’s new Arab partners use their weight to allow for policy change.