Israel Releases Thousands of Packages to PA

A Palestinian employee sorts undelivered mail at the Palestinian central international exchange post office in Yericho, Thursday. (Flash90)

Israel this week authorized the release of thousands of packages and letters to the Palestinian Authority which were  held up in Jordan. The packages were held up due to a series of security and administrative issues. PA postal workers said it would take them about two weeks to sort through and deliver the large amount of material.

The packages were released this week as part of Israeli confidence-building measures. The Israel Post confirmed that the packages had been sent through, but did not reveal details of the arrangements that enabled the packages to be processed. An Israeli security official said that most of the packages were not transferred largely due to security concerns, and that they amounted to over ten tons of material. The packages had been held up in Jordan, with Israel refusing to allow them to cross Jordan River checkpoints.

The packages were in Jordan as part of a 2016 agreement between the PA and Israel that would allow PA Arabs to receive packages directly from their senders, rather than via Israeli mail services. The security on packages was to be handled by Jordan. For various reasons, the agreement was never fully implemented. Israeli officials told AFP that the transfer was a one-time gesture, and that the PA had still not completed its responsibilities under the agreement.

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