As part of the “Jordan-gate” project, which will see the establishment of a joint industrial zone between Israel and Jordan, Israel has issued a tender for the construction of a new bridge across the Jordan River which would connect it with its neighbor from the east, the Israeli Ministry for Regional Cooperation announced.
A ministry statement said that the project, which is the first ever joint infrastructure project between the two countries, will include two industrial areas and employment zones on both sides of the river, with a bridge that will connect between the two.
The Israel-Jordan Committee for Security and Transportation has recently approved the bridge’s construction, and the tender is based on a previous agreement signed by both governments in April 2015.
On the Jordanian side there will be Israeli and Jordanian factories on an area of some 700 dunams (175 acres), while on the Israeli side, near Kibbutz Tirat Zvi, there will be a 245-dunam employment zone and depot for transporting Jordanian products to Israeli ports.
The cost of the project on the Israeli side was estimated to be around NIS 200 million, of which about NIS 55 million would be allocated for construction of the bridge.
The Regional Cooperation Ministry said that the establishment of the industrial zone was intended to deepen economic and trade relations between Jordan and Israel as well as regional cooperation and stability, while adding that the industrial zone would expand employment opportunities for residents of the region – in both Israel and Jordan.
“I am happy that the tender was issued at a time like this, as it is evidence that peace between Israel and Jordan is stronger than all the radicals who are attempting to place a wedge between the two countries and our attempt to bring about a better future for the peoples of the region,” said Ayoub Kara, Israeli Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation.
There are currently two bridges used to cross the Jordan river between Israel and Jordan, the Jordan River Crossing located near Beit She’an at the northern end of the Jordan Valley, and the Allenby Bridge that crosses from Jericho.