Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom approved, on Sunday, his ministry's five-million-shekel participation in a program to expand the Gilboa vehicle crossing near the northern Palestinian Authority city of Jenin. The program includes new technology to improve services at the crossing, which serves 8,000 people on a daily basis and almost twice that many a day on weekends. An estimated 4,500 vehicles pass through the crossing a day; up to 12,700 during holiday periods.
Total vehicle traffic grew 24 percent in the last year. The improvements are expected to increase the number of commercial crossings by 65 percent. The deputy prime minister said the Jenin area has recorded economic growth of about 17 percent since the crossing opened near the end of 2009. He said the Shechem area also grew as a result.