Economics Makes Strange Bedfellows
According to the economic website The Marker, Israel is now an active trans-shipment route for trade between Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. The trade is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to Israel, and billions to the other parties. The trade has grown dramatically, as the alternate 100% land based route between Turkey and Iraq - via Syria - has become less viable due to the Syrian civil war. (One can only speculate as to why a route through the Kurdish autonomous zone of northern Iraq is not being used.)
The picture above shows the route through Israel, from the port of Haifa to the Jordan River crossing into Jordan The numbers represent average truck loads per month. The total projection for 2013 is 6400 truck loads of good travelling from Turkey to Jordan and Iraq, and presumably an equal number coming back.
The Marker story begins:
What are the trucks from Turkey, Jordanian drivers
and goods from Iraq doing in Israel?
Israel approved trade between Jordan & Iraq and Turkey by the passage of Jordanian and Turkish trucks through the port of Haifa. ■ Convoys are accompanied by police. Drivers passports are not stamped. ■ The government hopes to expand the arrangement. Expected revenue of 200 million per year.
see full story (in Hebrew) at: http://www.themarker.com/dynamo/1.2003603
(h/t to Lisa Goldman)