The Palestinian Authority prime minister called on Wednesday for Israel to open Al-Quds Airport if it really wants to facilitate travel for the Palestinians, Safa has reported.
The occupation state this week opened up Raman Airport near Eilat in southern Israel to Palestinian passengers wishing to fly overseas.
Mohammad Shtayyeh pointed out that Al-Quds Airport is already available and the Palestinians can operate it. Also known as Qalandia Airport, it was established in 1920 during the British Mandate occupation of Palestine and was used for military purposes. During Jordan's rule of the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 it was turned into a civilian airport. Although the Israeli occupation authorities transformed it for tourism and commercial purposes, they then closed it but are now trying to use it for settlement projects.
Jordan has complained that if Palestinian travellers use Ramon Airport, then the number who cross into the kingdom to fly overseas from Amman's Queen Alia International Airport will fall. Speaking during the inauguration of Al-Rama power plant in the southern Jordan Valley with his Jordanian counterpart Bishr Al-Khasawneh, Shtayyeh insisted that projects which harm Jordanian-Palestinian relations will not find any partners in Palestine.
"There is no alternative to our Jordanian depth," he stressed, stating that he wished to raise the trade balance between the PA and Jordan from $200 million to $500m. "If we can, we will raise this to $1 billion." The Palestinian official added that, "We and Jordan are one party, one team and one goal, and our goal is the safety of Jordan and the welfare of its people."
Al-Khasawneh pointed out that Jordan is working to enhance trade exchange with the Palestinians and to enhance Jordanian exports to Palestine. "We are also committed to easing the passage of Palestinians across the King Hussein Bridge to the kingdom, and from there to the world."