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July 12, 2012 10:48 am

Haifa Serving as Secret Stop Along Iraqi-European Trade Route

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The Haifa harbor. Photo: Hanay.

Israel’s port city of Haifa has been secretly facilitating trade between Iraq and Europe even though Israel and Iraq do not have diplomatic relations, according to an Al-Jazeera report.

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav told the network that Jordanian trucks carry Iraqi goods to Haifa, and ships subsequently take those goods to Europe. For Iraq, the trade route through Haifa route is more direct and cost-effective than routes through the Persian Gulf, trade expert Matanis Shahadeh said.

Additionally, Israel has committed $70.6 million to a train line from Haifa to Beit She’an, a city situated on its border with Jordan. Plans to connect that train to Jordan are in “preliminary stages,” the Times of Israel reported.

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