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Iran Press TV

Palestinians to launch own postcodes to assert sovereign rights

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 07 February 2021 7:29 PM

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says it has decided to start using its own postal codes in an attempt to ease the delivery of mail and parcels to and from the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian leadership made the announcement on Sunday, saying it has asked the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to notify its member states of the decision.

Palestinian Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Ishaq Sider said at a press conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that "From April, postal items that do not bear a Palestinian postal code will not be processed".

"It is a question of asserting Palestinian rights", he added.

Sider further said Palestinian postal codes would also help put an end to the seizure of shipments from abroad.

He also noted that six tonnes of packages had been held up in Jordan since 2018, accusing Israel of obstructing deliveries.

Imad al-Tumayzi, head of international relations at the Palestinian Post, also said using postcodes "will prevent Israel from seizing postal items that come to Palestine, and will help make the services more efficient".

"In 2020, we recorded more than 7,000 violations of postal equipment on the Israeli side, whether by opening packages, seizing them or summoning their owners for investigation," he said.

International mail sent to or from the occupied West Bank currently has to pass through Jordan or Israel.

Palestinians have complained that they are forced to use costly private courier services to send or receive parcels.

But it was not clear if the application of postal codes would cut mailing costs.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency also said nearly half a million buildings in the occupied West Bank had already been given postcodes, adding that the rollout would soon be extended to the besieged Gaza Strip.

However, a Palestinian postal worker who asked not to be named, described the new postcodes as "more symbolic than practical."

The latest development comes amid Israel's plan to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian territories.

After former |US president Donald Trump took office in December 2016, Israel stepped up its settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds "a flagrant violation under international law."

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem, al-Quds, as its capital. But Israel's aggressive settlement expansion and annexation plans have dealt a serious blow to any prospects of peace.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under internati

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