ShareThis Page
World

Palestinians sort through 8 years of mail held by Israel

| Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, 2:03 p.m.
Palestinian postal workers sift through eight years' worth of undelivered mail held by Israel, at the post office in the West Bank city of Jericho, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. In recent days the postal staff has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. Postal official Ramadan Ghazawi says Israel did not respect a 2008 agreement to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Israeli officials say the one-time release of 10.5 tons of mail was a 'gesture.' (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinian postal workers sift through eight years' worth of undelivered mail held by Israel, at the post office in the West Bank city of Jericho, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. In recent days the postal staff has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. Postal official Ramadan Ghazawi says Israel did not respect a 2008 agreement to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Israeli officials say the one-time release of 10.5 tons of mail was a 'gesture.' (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinian postal workers sift through eight years' worth of undelivered mail held by Israel, at the post office in the West Bank city of Jericho, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. In recent days the postal staff has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. Postal official Ramadan Ghazawi says Israel did not respect a 2008 agreement to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Israeli officials say the one-time release of 10.5 tons of mail was a 'gesture.' (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinian postal workers sift through eight years' worth of undelivered mail held by Israel, at the post office in the West Bank city of Jericho, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. In recent days the postal staff has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. Postal official Ramadan Ghazawi says Israel did not respect a 2008 agreement to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Israeli officials say the one-time release of 10.5 tons of mail was a 'gesture.' (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinian postal workers process eight years' worth of undelivered mail held by Israel, at the post office in the West Bank city of Jericho, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. In recent days the postal staff has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. Postal official Ramadan Ghazawi says Israel did not respect a 2008 agreement to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Israeli officials say the one-time release of 10.5 tons of mail was a 'gesture.' (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinian postal workers process eight years' worth of undelivered mail held by Israel, at the post office in the West Bank city of Jericho, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. In recent days the postal staff has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. Postal official Ramadan Ghazawi says Israel did not respect a 2008 agreement to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Israeli officials say the one-time release of 10.5 tons of mail was a 'gesture.' (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

JERICHO, West Bank — Palestinian postal workers in the West Bank are sifting through eight years’ worth of undelivered mail held by Israel.

In recent days the Palestinian postal staff in Jericho has been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with letters, boxes and even a wheelchair.

The Palestinians say Israel has withheld delivery of post shipments to the Palestinian territories through its national postal service since 2010. According to Palestinian postage official Ramadan Ghazawi, Israel did not honor a 2008 agreement with the Palestinians to send and receive mail directly through Jordan. Mail was indeed delivered through Jordan but was denied entry by Israel, causing a years-long backlog.

“It was blocked because each time they (Israel) used to give us a reason and an excuse. Once they said the terminal, the building that the post was supposed to arrive to is not ready and once (they said) to wait, they’re expecting a larger checking machine (security scanner),” he said.

Israel says the sides came to an understanding about a year ago on postage delivery but that it has not yet resulted in a “direct transfer,” according to Cogat, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs in the West Bank.

Cogat said in a statement that the one-time release of the ten and a half tons of mail was a “gesture.”

Jericho resident Rami Baker said ordering goods by mail has been a challenge.

“The problem that I suffer from is that the mail is very delayed. For example you order something and the website will tell you it will arrive within 20 to 30 days and after 30 days you get a note that it reached Jerusalem or Israel. After that, a day or two later, we come and check with the Palestinian post office here in Jericho and they say we did not receive it yet from the Israeli side and this thing takes months,” he said.

The development highlights the tight controls Israel maintains over many aspects — even the mundane like postal delivery — of Palestinian life.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me