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      Crossing The Jordan River

      Jordan has opened its gates. Until now, two buses a day made their way across the Allenby Bridge into Jordan from the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, but of late, "dozens of buses" make the daily trip. So reports Haggai Huberman, who spoke with top military officials.
      First Publish: 8/15/2003, 2:41 PM

      Following the outbreak of the Oslo War almost three years ago, and the subsequent desire of many Arabs to leave and cross into Jordan, the Hashemite Kingdom all but closed its doors. MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Religious Party) told Arutz-7 today that there are some 70,000 Jordanian Arabs who are in Israel illegally - and that in many cases, Jordan refused to recognize their right to return home. "Jordan simply doesn't want them," Slomiansky said.

      The MK said that this problem - which may now be beginning to find the first steps of a solution - is threefold: "They not only take away employment from Israelis, but they are a security risk as well. Jordanian Arabs have taken part in many attacks - for instance, the recent kidnapping of taxi driver Eli Gor-el. In addition, no official body is willing to take responsibility for the problem of illegal Jordanians. Thirdly, the Jordanian Embassy refuses, in many cases, to cooperate with us when we want to deport an illegal Jordanian."

      How did they enter in the first place?, asked Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson. "The Palestinian Authority was granted permits to bring in a certain amount," Slomiansky said, "but this has since been rescinded." It is not known how many passengers on the "dozens of daily buses" are planning to remain in Jordan and how many will try to return to Israel.