After initial hesitation, Israel has granted its permission for Qatar’s Emir to make his first visit to the West Bank by crossing through Jordan, Haaretz reports.
That means Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, who made a landmark trip to Gaza two months ago, will likely cross the Allenby (or King Hussein) Bridge that connects Jordan and the West Bank sometime in the coming week and a half.
The crossing is controlled by Israel, which in October likened Al Thani’s Gaza trip to throwing “peace under the bus” because it bolstered the international credibility of Hamas, a rival faction to the Palestinian Authority that does not recognize Israel as a legitimate government.
But the country has cautiously welcomed the Emir’s upcoming visit to the West Bank because it will help the PA, Haaretz reports:
The Palestinian Authority lodged its request at the beginning of the week, and Israel hesitated at first to green-light the visit, but Major General Eitan Dangot, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, eventually granted his approval.
The defense establishment expects the official visit to give a diplomatic boost to the Palestinian Authority against its Hamas rival in the Gaza Strip.