(photo credit: COGAT)
The wait time for Palestinians crossing into Israel via Rachel’s Crossing has been reduced as much as 96% from up to 2.5 hours to up to six minutes following renovations.
The Unit for Coordination of Government Activities (COGAT) said Monday that it has upgraded the crossing, adding an entrance corridor with two additional lanes for security checks, as well as a humanitarian passage corridor.
The upgrade is part of a larger plan to improve West Bank crossings by integrating technological elements. So far, 28 biometric crossings have been established and stations with new identification and security-checking technologies added throughout the territories. Most recently, COGAT completed work on the Qalandia Crossing.
“This is significant news for all the residents of the area,” said Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Kamil Abu Rukun. “These steps, and further steps, are bringing improvements in the local quality of life that contributes to economic prosperity and to stable security, and we will continue in the same way.”
Rachel Crossing connects Bethlehem with southern Jerusalem. It is staffed by the Civil Administration, the Military Police, the Israel Police, and the Border Police. Guards protect the security of Israel’s residents and of the crossing’s users by foiling attempted terror attacks, the smuggling weapons and merchandise and the infiltration into Israel by illegal residents, according to COGAT.
Rachel’s Crossing renovations took more than one year to complete and cost tens of millions of shekels.
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