Bridge on the River

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A short film about the connection between Palestinians from the West Bank and the Kingdom of Jordan. During Ramadan, thousands of Muslims pray at the Grand Al Husseini Mosque in Amman, Jordan. Most of the kingdom’s citizens are Palestinians, while a million Palestinians living on the West Bank also carry Jordanian passports.

Residents of the West Bank and Jordanian citizens cross the Allenby Bridge by car or on foot. As a part of Israel’s Open Bridges policy, this bridge is used to transport people and goods between the two banks of the Jordan River each day.

In an interview, Mayor of Bethlehem Elias Freij explains that the connection with Jordan is highly important for residents of the West Bank, since the kingdom is their gate to the rest of the Arab world. “Jordan is one lung and the West Bank is another lung” of the same body, says Freij. On the Israeli side of the border, Arabs board a bus to Jordan.

Maps from 1920 and 1922 describe the separation between Palestine and Transjordan under the British Mandate, as dictated by the Churchill White Paper. A map from 1949 illustrates the occupation of the West Bank by Jordan at the end of Israel’s War of Independence.

Hassan Darwish, a former member of the Jordanian Parliament living on the West Bank, marks the Jericho Conference as an important juncture in the history of the relations between Jordan and the Palestinians.

A map from 1967 shows the occupation of the West Bank by Israel in the Six Day War. Despite the occupation, the bond between the Palestinians from the West Bank and the kingdom is still firm. In a packing station in Hebron, merchants prepare fruit and vegetables from the Israeli occupied territories to be exported to the markets of Jordan. Students in the West Bank study in schools financed by Jordan, which is also subsidizing welfare and health to residents of the Israeli occupied territories.

Hussein, King of Jordan, addresses members of the Jordanian Parliament. According to Darwish, the Palestinians would not give up their connection to Jordan.

On the Israeli side of the border, cars queue to cross into the kingdom.

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