US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides traveled to the Allenby crossing with Jordan Tuesday night to make sure Israel followed up with a commitment to carry out round-the-clock operations at the site, according to a report by Kipa News.
The previous caretaker government led by Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid promised to operate the site 24 hours a day in accordance with an agreement reached during a visit this summer by President Joe Biden.
The pilot project was launched during the final week leading up to Israel’s national elections, despite objections from the head of the Israel Airports Authority, Maj. Gen. (res) Yitzhak Gershon, who sent a letter to Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli saying the plan was unacceptable.
“The instruction to open the Allenby Crossing 24/7 during the election period is not acceptable, even if it is a pilot,” he wrote.
“The Israel Defense Forces will not become a player in the political field, of necessity.”
The pilot nevertheless was launched following discussions between Michaeli and Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej during which ministers raised issue of damage to relations with the United States and regional players, such as Morocco, and clear pressure from the US Ambassador to Israel, who sent a stern directive in writing.
“I do not interfere in politics. A commitment was made by the Prime Minister of Israel, the Defense Minister, and the Transportation Minister, to the US President, to conduct a two-week pilot on October 24, and we expect that pilot to begin on the promised date,” Nides wrote.
Following up on that pressure, the American ambassador arrived at the Allenby border crossing Tuesday night to check on the progress of the project.