Route 443 Roadblock 'First in a Series', Say Leftist Protestors

Leftists called a 15-minute roadblock Thursday "the first in a series of popular non-violent protests against the Israel system of apartheid."

Hana Levi Julian,

Roadblocks have cut down terrorist attacks
Roadblocks have cut down terrorist attacks

Two extreme-left protestors, one Israeli and one American, were arrested Thursday morning in a brief demonstration that blocked the Jerusalem-Modi'in highway during the morning rush hour for approximately 15 minutes. Six protestors were chained to a four meter pipe behind protestors who "sat in" on Route 443, a busy highway traveled by cars with Israeli license plates only. Police forcibly removed the road-blockers and opened the road to travel.

Following the disruption of traffic into the capital, Deputy Chairman of the Binyamin Regional Council called on the IDF to put an end to leftist provocations in the area.

"The only reason Arabs are prevented from traveling on the road (443) is the fact that Arabs have turned the road into a shooting gallery," said Deputy Chairman Avi Roeh. "The security services have an obligation to provide security for those using the road."  Route 443 is the only direct route available for residents of the western Binyamin region making their way into Jerusalem. It is also the fastest route from the centrally located city of Modiin to the capital.

Jews who live in the area contend that access into pre-1967 Israel is not difficult for local PA residents despite the travel restrictions on 443. PA residents legally allowed to work in pre-1967 Israel are still able to do so using alternate, Israeli vehicles and transportation.

PA Arabs: This is Only the Start
Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Movement spokesman Mohammed Khatib said the event was "the first in a series of popular non-violent protests against the Israeli system of apartheid."

In a release posted on the International Solidarity Movement website, the Route 443 "passes through occupied West Bank territory and is built on land that has been confiscated from Palestinians whose olive trees have been cut down…"

ISM charged Israel with using the security restriction that allows highway access only to those with Israeli license plates as a means of "putting the Palestinians out of sight and out of mind for Israelis."

The far-left B'tselem human rights organization accused Israel of intending to annex the area along which the road runs. "If Israel was only interested in protecting the lives of Israelis rather than annexing the area, it could limit or even prohibit the travel of Israelis on the road cutting through the West Bank and build roads inside Israeli territory, thus providing safe channels of transportation to connect Jerusalem and Tel Aviv," said the group in a statement quoted by ISM.

The security barrier and restricted roads which have prevented hundreds of would-be terrorists from carrying out suicide bombings are "at the root of the West Bank's declining economy," it said.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz contributed to this story.





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