Posted on: February 17, 2022, 08:54h.
Last updated on: February 17, 2022, 08:54h.
For almost 20 years, the casino at Hotel Oasis in the West Bank has kept its doors closed. The Jericho casino could soon reopen, but not everyone is happy about it.
Hotel Oasis sits in the hotly-contested West Bank, an area that is constantly a target of fighting between Israel and Palestine. When the Second Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israel, occurred in 2020, the casino shut down.
Breathing New Life Into Old Casino
After almost 22 years, the once-popular international destination may open its doors again, according to The Jerusalem Post. Citing information from a local news channel, the media outlet reports that Israel and the Palestine Authority (PA) have been discussing the possibility of getting the resort back in business.
If true, this would be great news. I saw something on Facebook about the casino, but I don’t know if it’s true. We hope that the tourists, including the Israelis, will come to Jericho,” said a security guard at Hotel Oasis.
There is still a lot of work to be done before any forward progress is made. Even if the casino, which Casinos Austria managed, reopens, there’s a possibility, at first, that Israelis won’t be welcome. The casino is in Jericho, which is under PA control.
In the past, as many as 6,000 Israelis would travel to the casino each day. Should it reopen without that segment, it would stand to be without a significant revenue source. However, the media outlet asserts that Palestinian sources confirmed that talk about restarting the casino has become more common lately.
Local Governor Denies Casino Talk
Despite having confirmed the possibility of the casino reopening with Palestinian sources, the PA is keeping its distance. The PA governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, Jihad Abu al-Asal, said that he wasn’t consulted about the conversations taking place between the two sides.
The governor feels that there are more important issues to address before talk of the casino reopening can begin. Specifically, he wants to see more progress in peace talks and a stop to the Israeli “incursions and assaults.”
He asserted, “First, we want the situation to be more positive and stable in Jericho. It would be problematic to reopen the casino as long as the security situation is unstable. In order to reopen the casino, you need security and stability. I don’t want to see the casino reopened while the Israeli army is continuing to launch daily incursions.”
Abu al-Asal isn’t the only one, either. The Jerusalem Post highlights a number of people in the local community that, while they might welcome the casino, won’t welcome Israelis. One individual called it a “crazy idea.” Another warned that, like the ongoing conflict between the two sides, there would be a new uprising if Israelis were allowed to visit the casino.