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Jordan denies existence of Gulf ‘land bridge’ to Israel to bypass Houthis

December 17, 2023 at 4:16 pm

Jordanian flag [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s Ministries of Transport and Industry and Trade yesterday denied reports that a land route has been established from the UAE to the Hashemite Kingdom via Saudi Arabia, in an effort to bypass the growing threats from Yemen’s Houthi-aligned armed forces.

Jordan’s Petra News Agency, said that news being propagated by Israeli media and social media on an “alternative land bridge” to bring in shipments to Israel from the Red Sea through Dubai ports are “absolutely false.”

Government sources were quoted as saying: “Such claims are refuted and are publications intended to confuse the firm Jordanian position regarding what is happening in the Gaza Strip in terms of the brutal Israeli aggression.”

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Yesterday Israeli website Walla reported that a pilot operation of the land transportation route as an alternative to the Suez Canal had been successful, with the first ten trucks having completed the journey from the Persian Gulf to the occupation state.

“The trial operation of the new land transportation route for trucks through the ports of Dubai, passing through Saudi Arabia and Jordan, has been successful in recent weeks,” the site stated.

The land corridor has reportedly received the approval of the Israeli government and its Ministry of Defense, is expected to save 80 per cent of the time on the sea route, providing a faster alternative than crossing through the Suez Canal, at a competitive price. The trucks had to cross a distance of some 2,000 km (1,242 miles) over two days and a few hours.

The initiative is managed through the Israeli cargo transport application Trucknet which earlier this month signed a cooperation agreement with the UAE-based Puretrans FZCO and the Dubai-based DP WORLD to transport cargo from the Gulf to the port of Haifa and back.

The developments come after a string of Yemeni naval operations targeting Israeli-linked vessels in the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb in response to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza.

Earlier this month, three commercial ships in the Red Sea were struck by ballistic missiles and drones launched from Houthi-controlled Yemen. On Friday, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, Maersk, said it would “pause” its vessels’ passage through the Red Sea, following a near-miss attack involving its Maersk Gibraltar ship the day before.

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