Walla: A land corridor from the UAE to transport goods to Israel via Saudi Arabia and Jordan

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The Walla website close to Israeli intelligence reported that a first batch of commercial shipments arrived in Israel via a new land bridge.

This corridor extends from the UAE to Israel, passes through Saudi Arabia and Jordan to reach the port of Haifa.

This corridor, which came in light of the constant and almost daily threats from the Houthis, who announced that they would target any ships heading to Israel, reduces Israel’s burdens and breaks the Houthi blockade, according to Walla website.

Walla website stated that the experimental stages of the new land transport line through Dubai ports, passing through Saudi Arabia and Jordan, were crowned with success, noting that ten trucks arrived from the ports of the Persian Gulf to Israel.

Truck operations from Dubai Port to Tel Aviv Port in Haifa in Israel are carried out by two shipping companies, the Israeli “Trakent” and the Emirati “PureTrans”.

At the beginning of the month, the two companies announced the signing of a cooperation agreement stipulating the establishment of a land bridge between the ports of Dubai and Haifa with the aim of overcoming the Houthi threat.

The CEO of the Israeli company Trakent said at the time that the construction of this new road would contribute to saving more than 80% of the cost of transporting goods by sea.

In recent weeks, the Houthis, who are close to Iran, have increased their attacks near the strategic Bab al Mandab Strait, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from Africa and through which 40% of international trade passes.

The Houthis warned that they would target ships sailing off the coast of Yemen that have links to Israel, in response to the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The land corridor, which has received the approval of the Ministry of Defense and the Government of Israel, is expected to provide a faster alternative to passing through the Suez Canal, and to provide a faster option for the long route for importing goods through the Suez Canal, in order to avoid the Houthi threat, which requires circumventing the Cape of Good Hope and extending the route for a period of up to three weeks.

The road trip from Dubai to Haifa takes four days and extends over a distance of 2,550 kilometers, and the trip from Bahrain takes two days and seven hours to cover a distance of 1,700 kilometers.

The cost of sea freight ranges around $1.2 per kilometer, and this amount is considered slightly higher than the prices paid on normal days.

However, it’s cheaper now due to increased insurance costs for ships in the Red Sea after the attacks carried out by the pro-Iranian Ansar Allah group, according to Walla website.

This line is considered of great importance, especially with regard to the process of importing and exporting goods with a short shelf life such as fresh food products, as well as raw materials and products that require quick delivery to customers, according to Walla.

On the same context, Maariv newspaper said, about a month ago, upon signing the joint agreement between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, that in light of the war between Israel and the Palestinians, an agreement was signed according to which a land bridge would be operated between the port of Dubai and the port of Haifa.

Maariv added, “The aim of establishing the planned land bridge is to overcome the threat posed by the Houthis in Yemen, by cutting off the shipping lanes on the road to Israel”.

The Houthi attacks on ships forced the Danish companies Maersk, German Hapag-Lloyd, French CMA CGM, and Italian-Swiss MSC to suspend their trips through the Red Sea until further notice or until Monday, at least, or until passage through the Red Sea becomes safe, according to statements issued by companies.

The Red Sea is the sea highway that connects the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and about 20,000 ships pass through it annually.

Meanwhile, Jordan was the first to deny this news, as the official Petra news agency quoted sources in the Jordanian Ministries of Transport, Industry and Trade as saying, “News issued by Israeli media and circulated through social media about the existence of an alternative land bridge to the Red Sea, extending from the ports of Dubai through Saudi Arabia and Jordan, in order to transfer… Goods to Israel aren’t valid at all”.

The same sources added, “The government has a clear position regarding providing support to the Palestinian brothers and standing by them in all ways”.

There are three crossings linking Jordan with Israel: the Sheikh Hussein Crossing (the Jordan River from the Israeli side), the King Hussein Bridge Crossing (the Prophet’s River from the Israel side), and the Wadi Araba Crossing (the Yitzhak Rabin River from the Israel side.

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