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Allenby Bridge

Allenby Bridge
King Hussein Bridge

  • גשר אלנבי
  • جسر الملك حسين
The Allenby Bridge from the Jordanian side, 2006
Coordinates31°52′27″N 35°32′27″E / 31.87417°N 35.54083°E / 31.87417; 35.54083
CarriesPedestrians, vehicles
CrossesJordan River
Named for
Maintained by
Construction start1918
Rebuilt1968, 1994
Daily traffic3200 pedestrians and 33 trucks (2007)[citation needed]

The Allenby Bridge (Hebrew: גשר אלנבי, romanizedGesher Allenby), known officially in Jordan as the King Hussein Bridge (Arabic: جسر الملك حسين, romanizedJisr al-Malek Hussein), and also called the Al-Karameh Bridge (جسر الكرامة) or simply Al-Jisr (الجسر, lit.'the bridge') by Palestinian Arabs,[1] is a bridge that crosses the Jordan River near the city of Jericho in the West Bank and the town of Al-Karameh in Jordan.[citation needed]

The bridge is currently the only official border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, and is the sole designated exit/entry point for West Bank Palestinians travelling abroad by land.

Being 381 metres (1,250 ft) below sea level, it is the lowest fixed water crossing in the world.[citation needed]


In 1885 the Ottoman government of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem built a bridge at this site.[2]

In 1918 British general Edmund Allenby built a bridge over the remnant of the Ottoman predecessor.[2] The 1922 census lists 12 people (8 Christians and 4 Muslims) living at the bridge.[3] It was first destroyed by the 1927 Jericho earthquake, when it fell apart and collapsed into the river.[4] The 1931 census lists 13 people (11 Muslims and 2 Christians) living at the bridge.[5]

It was destroyed again in the Night of the Bridges operation by the Palmach on 16 June 1946, thus severing one of the main overland connections between Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan.[citation needed] The next destruction occurred during the 1967 Six-Day War, after which was replaced in 1968 with a temporary truss-type bridge.[citation needed] In 1994, subsequent to the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, a new modern paved crossing was constructed adjacent to the older wooden one with the aid of the Japanese government.[6]

Allenby Bridge border crossing

Since the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty, the Allenby Bridge Terminal has been operated by the Israel Airports Authority.[7] It serves as a border crossing between the west and east banks of the Jordan River. The Jordanian authorities recognize the bridge as an international border entry point, but neither Jordan nor Israel grant entry visas to foreign passport holders at this crossing, unlike the country's other border crossings with Israel,[8] nor stamp the passports of departing travelers.[9] Palestinians traveling abroad can use the Allenby Bridge to exit the West Bank into Jordan and then use the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman to fly abroad. Travel permits from both Israeli and Jordanian authorities are required, with varied stringency depending on the prevailing political situation.[citation needed]

Israeli citizens are not permitted to use the terminal,[7] except Israeli Muslims making a pilgrimage to Mecca to perform the Hajj and Umrah. Such pilgrims were allowed to use the Allenby Bridge crossing for the first time in 1978, after Jordan and Saudi Arabia permitted Israeli Arabs to join the hajj in 1977.[10][11] Tourists who wish to travel to Jordan may have to be in possession of a visa from Jordan in advance, depending on their nationality. Tourists and inhabitants of East Jerusalem may travel directly to an Israeli terminal, although Palestinians from the West Bank have to start the departure procedure at the special Palestinian border terminal in Jericho city.[citation needed]

The Jordanian side of the bridge has a branch of the Bank of Jordan for the exchange of currencies.[12]

In the arts

The Allenby crossing is the locus of a 1971 song by Nurit Hirsh, Gesher Bailey (Bailey bridge - referring to the temporary truss bridge) sung by Yehoram Gaon.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Al-Karama crossing: A "symbol and witness of humiliation and suffering"". Jerusalem 24. 2022-07-22. Retrieved 2023-10-29.
  2. ^ a b Büssow, Johann (11 August 2011). Hamidian Palestine: Politics and Society in the District of Jerusalem 1872-1908. BRILL. ISBN 9789004205697.
  3. ^ Palestine Census ( 1922).
  4. ^ Palestine Square (11 July 2016). "And the Land Lurched Forth: Remembering the 1927 Jericho Earthquake". Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS). Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  5. ^ Palestine Census 1931.
  6. ^ "Embassy of Japan in Jordan (ODA: Middle East Peace & Regional Stability)". Archived from the original on 2006-07-09.
  7. ^ a b About: Alleby Bridge, Israel Airports Authority.
  8. ^ Irving, Sarah (2012). Palestine. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-84162-367-2. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  9. ^ Walker, Jenny; Clammer, Paul (2015). Jordan. Lonely Planet. p. 730. ISBN 978-1-74360-546-2. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  10. ^ William Claiborne, After 30 Years, Israeli Moslems to See Mecca, Washington Post (October 26, 1978).
  11. ^ Karin Laub, Thousands of Israeli Moslems Leave For Mecca, Associated Press (June 26, 1989).
  12. ^ "Bank of Jordan פתח סניף בגשר אלנבי" (in Hebrew). Port2Port. 2008-07-24. Archived from the original on 2008-08-02. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
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Allenby Bridge
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