The Palestinian Authority is planning to open a duty-free shop in Jericho, a senior Fatah official said Tuesday.
The official, Muhammad Shtayeh, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has approved the project, adding that its profits will support a fund for students in refugee camps in Lebanon and underprivileged areas.
Shtayeh added that details of the project will be submitted to the PA cabinet for approval.
The shop will be set up in Jericho, at the Palestinian Authority arrivals and departures hall for the Allenby Bridge crossing at the Jordan Valley, according to Ma’an.
Shtayeh said the shop will sell merchandise like cigarettes, perfume and chocolate initially, and later electronic goods will be introduced.
The PA has continuously attempted to deny any Jewish connection to Jericho.
Elsewhere in the Jordan Valley, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently inaugurated a new PA construction project, despite the fact that it is located in an area under full Israeli control.
The project is a water dam that is located in Area C, which falls under full Israeli control. Fayyad said he will not wait for Israeli permission to allow him to develop the Jordan Valley, stressing that “this is our land and it is our natural right to develop this area and to serve our people living here.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has clarified that Israel will not leave the Jordan Valley, regardless of whatever final status agreement is made with the Palestinian Authority.
“I will sign a final status agreement only if Israel remains in the Jordan Valley. I believe that we are thus acting sensibly, and looking out for the welfare and security of Israel,” Netanyahu said.