Many West Bank Arab businessmen are continuing their strike in protest against the Israeli-imposed eight per cent value added tax.
Many West Bank Arab businessmen are continuing their strike in protest against the Israeli-imposed eight per cent value added tax. The strike began on the first of August, and Arab officials are saving Israeli military authorities have retaliated by cutting trade across the Jordan River.
SYNOPSIS: Among the shopkeepers who are continuing the strike are those in Ramallah, in Samaria. The arguments began early in July when Israel had adopted the eight per cent tax. It was them decided to extend it to the West Bank because of extensive trade between the two. But West Bank residents claim Israeli regulations should not apply to them since they consider themselves governed by Jordanian law. Israel captured the territory from Jordan in 1967. There has been some unrest, but only minor incidents by stone-throwing Youths. In the past, Israeli troops have forced the shopkeepers to re-open their businesses, but this time they're letting the shopkeepers continue to strike.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister, Shimon Peres, visited the Allenby Bridge, which spans the Jordan River on Wednesday. He was shown the arrangements which have been made to cope with the thousands of Arabs crossing the bridge from Jordan.
Each year Arabs spend time in Israel, or Israeli occupied areas, with their families. Mr. Peres chatted with some of the Arabs who were visiting, while he was at the bridge.
Over the years, travel restrictions between the two have been eased. In 1972 buses from Israel crossed into Jordan and vice versa for the first time. Until then passengers had to walk across the bridge while their baggage changed hands between porters in the middle of the bridge. The scheme to allow the Arabs to visit relatives began in 1968.