Israel and the US have been working on a secret plan to build a trade land bridge connecting the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, Israel’s Ynet News revealed on Friday.
This land bridge will lead from Dubai to Israel’s seaports in Haifa, Ynet News disclosed, noting it is intended to export goods from the East to Europe through Israel and later for tourist movement.
According to Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post, the plan was drafted by Shira Greenberg, the chief economist of the Finance Ministry during the former government of Yair Lapid.
Trucks will be able to transport goods through this trade corridor, significantly reducing transportation costs and time.
The idea is to enable the arrival of a single truck and driver from Dubai to the port of Haifa, for example, without changing drivers and trucks at border crossings between countries, Ynet News explained, pointing out that the plan was presented to US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein.
According to senior Israeli officials, the US was enthusiastic about the plan and began promoting it with the involved countries: the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
This infrastructure project crosses borders that will start in the UAE, pass through Saudi Arabia and end at the seaports of Israel, later expanding to Bahrain and Oman.
Ynet News reported that the plan is expected to advance even before Israel and Saudi Arabia establish formal ties because all parties will benefit from shorter transit times and low shipping costs, bridging the gap between the Far East and Europe.
The plan will require all countries to agree on standardising the trucks so they can move between all countries and agree on driver’s licenses for the drivers authorised to travel smoothly and without delays along the route.
According to the Israeli newspaper, the project will promote connectivity between Israel and regional countries in transportation, infrastructure and information.
Sources familiar with the plan’s details confirmed that the project was made possible thanks to the signing of the Abraham Accords and the US commitment to promoting peace in the region.
A Foreign Ministry document obtained by Ynet News and Yedioth Ahronoth stated: “The Abraham Accords have changed the political reality in our region and opened up new transportation routes. A regional land connectivity project between the Gulf states and Israel will be a game-changer that will upgrade global trade in the Middle East, improve Israel’s position as a hub for transporting goods from the Far East to the Western world and highlight the role of the United States in the region.”