1. Home
  2. Middle East and North Africa
  3. Jordan

Travel restrictions eased for visiting West Bank Palestinians

West Bank Palestinians wanting to visit relatives in neighbouring Jordan will no longer have to endure lengthy procedures at the border post following the recent removal of tight travel restrictions.

Entry into Jordan in future will be based on "personal undertaking", and Palestinian visitors will be allowed a month-long stay in the country with the possibility of a two week extension, according to a senior Jordanian security official.

The new "travel pass" which came in effect 1 June has no age restrictions and is applicable to all Palestinians visiting the kingdom.

In the past, tight travel restrictions were imposed on West Bank Palestinians crossing into Jordan over the King Hussein Bridge which spans the River Jordan and links the country with the West Bank and Israel.

Palestinians intending to visit the country had to provide personal guarantees supplied by a Jordanian citizen before they would be allowed entry.

Furthermore, a special committee of security officers set up offices at the very first Jordanian entry point on the bridge. Travellers would reportedly have to wait for hours as these police officers, with little resources, were entrusted with deciding who enters and who is rejected.

"The decision makes life easier for Jordanians as well. Travelling across the border is less of a hassle and definitely less time consuming," Amin Mahmood, a frequent cross-border traveller, told IRIN.

The head of Administration of Bridges Security, Muhammad Rashid, however warned that any contravention of the travel agreement would result in a 2,000 Jordanian dinars (around US $2,800) fine.

So far 8,886 Palestinians have taken advantage of the new travel pass, Rashid noted. According to official statistics, traffic on the King Hussein bridge is estimated to exceed 5,000 visitors per day.

Jordan has received the greatest number of Palestinians during the two Arab Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967.

According to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, as of March 2005, the total number of Palestinian refugees residing in Jordan, is around 1.8 million.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

We uncovered the sex abuse scandal that rocked the WHO, but there’s more to do

We just covered a report that says the World Health Organization failed to prevent and tackle widespread sexual abuse during the Ebola response in Congo.

Our investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation triggered this probe, demonstrating the impact our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone. 

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and do more of this. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.