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Israel releases 10 tons of 8-year-old mail to West Bank

By
Danielle Haynes
Palestinian officials sort through dozens of bags of delayed mail after it was released by Israel. Photo courtesy of the Palestinian communications ministry
Palestinian officials sort through dozens of bags of delayed mail after it was released by Israel. Photo courtesy of the Palestinian communications ministry

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Palestinian postal workers said they were sifting through 10 tons of letters, packages and other mail Israel prevented from being delivered to the West Bank, some for up to eight years.

The Palestinian communication ministry said Israel released the mail in a one-time arrangement Monday, delivering dozens of sacks of post that include items like medicine, postcards, gifts and, in one case, a wheelchair.

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Some of the items are damaged after sitting years in limbo.

Israel has regularly blocked the delivery of mail from Jordan, saying anything going in or out of the West Bank must go directly through Israel. Palestinian and Israeli officials agreed in 2016 to allow mail directly from Jordan to the West Bank, but the arrangement was never implemented.

Israel "is still delaying the implementation of the agreement and does not allow the export of mail ... directly through Jordan and does not comply with international resolutions," a statement from the ministry said.

Communications Minister Allam Mousa said Israel's refusal to abide by the agreement has cost the Palestinian postal system thousands of dollars.

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