Blocked Palestinian mail arrives after years

Parcels, dating from 2010 to this year, had been prevented by Israel from entering West Bank

Jericho, West Bank: Palestinian postal service employees are working overtime to sort through some 10 tonnes of letters and packages blocked by the Israeli regime for up to eight years, Palestinian officials said on Tuesday.

The parcels, dating from 2010 to this year, had been prevented by Israel from entering the West Bank via Jordan but were released in a one-time deal, the officials said.

The goods range from simple letters to medicine and even wheelchairs for the disabled, AFP journalists found at the sorting centre in the occupied West Bank city of Jericho.

Palestinian Telecommunications Minister Allam Mousa accused the Israeli regime, in a statement, of having blocked the delivery and of delaying the implementation of an agreement on postal services.

Israeli occupation authorities confirmed the packages had been transferred and said an agreement was in the works, but did not comment in detail.

Ramadan Ghazawi, an official at the sorting centre in Jericho, said he understood some items had been blocked for security reasons, while others were barred on administrative grounds.

“A few days ago Israel allowed more than 10 tonnes of postal parcels that were stuck in Jordan,” he told AFP.

He said it would take his staff another two weeks to sort through all the parcels and get them delivered to their recipients.

The Israeli occupation regime controls all entrances and exits to the West Bank and can prevent goods passing through as it sees fit.

Palestinian officials say such control cripples their economy and freedom of movement.

In the sorting centre, hundreds of bags were piled on top of each other as workers picked through them in the stifling summer heat.

Ghazawi said that the parcels and letters, mostly the former, had been sent from all over the world.

Many were goods ordered online by Palestinians that never arrived.

A note attached to a wheelchair said it was sent from Turkey in 2015 and meant to be delivered to the Gaza Strip.

Some of the transferred goods had been broken, and Ghazawi said that to avoid complaints they were delivering them along with a statement saying Israeli occupation regime had delivered them in this condition.


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