Last Sunday (Jan 10th) we remembered Christ’s baptism in the River Jordan; today we hear of the experience of Palestinians trying to cross that river now.
West Bank Palestinians who want to enter Jordan, or to use the airport there (not being allowed to use Israel’s airport at Tel Aviv), are forced to pass through the one designated exit/entry point, the King Hussein Bridge. Our friend and partner, Rev Fadi Diab, recently made the one hour journey from Ramallah to the border to join his wife Ruba and their sons, who were spending the New Year holidays with Ruba’s parents at their home in Amman, Jordan. A member of his congregation, Hanan, tells the story:
‘Rev Fadi left Ramallah at 6.00am to travel to the King Hussein Bridge, and arrived at the station in Jericho, 5 miles from the bridge, where all passengers have to wait in turn to board buses for the crossing. Before entering the hall he found such huge crowds of people waiting to cross the bridge, that all he could do was to return to Ramallah. Otherwise he would have waited the whole day and would have arrived in Amman at midnight or the next day. The situation was unbelievable! ‘
Hanan goes on to explain: ‘The situation on the bridge is always terrible especially during summer and when Muslim pilgrims want to travel to Saudi Arabia (during Ramadan). The case of Rev Fadi is also the case of every Palestinian, and the question that needs an answer is how long will we have to tolerate such a situation? We pray that there will soon be an end to such humiliating and costly procedures on the bridge.’
Please keep our friends in Ramallah and all Palestinians in your prayers.