Following extensive staff work by the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety and the Israel Airports Authority, the operating hours of the international border crossings to Jordan and Egypt are returning to the pre-COVID schedules.
When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, over half of the Israel Airports Authority staff operating the international border crossings were furloughed and hours of operation of the terminals were significantly reduced.
Following Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli’s (Labor) instructions, an agreement has been reached for a full return to the pre-COVID schedule of opening hours at all border crossings, for passengers and cargo.
Under the agreement, as of Monday, August 1, the passenger terminal at the Rabin Crossing (Jordan) will operate on Sunday to Saturday between 06:30 and 20:00. Workers will be permitted to cross from Jordan to Israel Sunday through Thursday, between 06:30 and 23:00.
Since Sunday, July 3, the passenger terminal at the Allenby Crossing (Jordan) has been operating Sunday to Thursday between 08:00 and 23:30 (instead of between 08:00 and 17:30) and on Friday and Saturday it will operate between 08:00 and 15:30.
As of Thursday, September 1, the passenger terminal at the Jordan River Crossing (Jordan) will operate Sunday to Thursday between 07:00 and 20:00 (instead of 08:00 and 16:00) and on Friday and Saturday between 08:30 and 18:30.
Since Sunday, July 3, passengers have been able to cross continuously at the Begin Crossing (Egypt), 24 hours a day, seven days a week (instead of between 08:00 and 20:00).
The extended operating hours are part of the Minister's policy to expand freedom of movement, develop ties between the countries, and strengthen the Israeli economy. The extended opening hours have been made possible due to the recruitment and training of dozens of workers as part of a recruitment drive by the Israel Airports Authority, including incentives and the retention of existing personnel at a cost of millions of shekels per year.
As a result of the expanded operating hours, approximately 3.7 million passengers are expected to pass through Israel’s land border crossings in 2022, with a record 150,000 trucks at the cargo terminals, the largest annual amount ever.
Michaeli said: "The Ministry of Transportation under my leadership has received very clear instructions - maximum traffic for maximum people. I am glad that the border crossings are returning to their full schedule of opening hours, which is good news for freedom of movement to and from Israel."
She added, "This is another step in strengthening relations with our neighbors, Jordan and Egypt, helping economic development and bilateral trade and tourism. The Israel Airports Authority has worked hard to recruit personnel to allow this to happen, and I am happy to announce we are getting back to normal at the borders. Wishing Israelis a pleasant trip!"