Key Checkpoint Near Shavei Shomron Removed Weeks Before Attack
Samaria Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika said following the terrorist murder of Rabbi Meir Chai from Samaria Thursday: “After a long period of security quiet, the main roadblock between Shavei Shomron and Tulkarm was recently opened, despite our warnings. The government of Israel preferred 'the Palestinian fabric of life' to its citizens' rights.”
An unnamed IDF officer told Haaretz that the terrorists who murdered Rabbi Chai most likely escaped through the abandoned checkpoint, which was removed shortly before the murder.
The IDF's removal of roadblocks is widely perceived as a gesture toward US President Barack Obama, who has pressured Israel to make Arabs' "fabric of life" as comfortable as possible.
Soldiers recently removed the concrete cubes and metal gate that made up the roadblock north of Shechem, near Shavei Shomron, despite pleas by Samaria residents to the IDF not to remove it. The removal means that traffic between Shechem and Tulkarm now flows without any security monitoring. Another IDF checkpoint on the road, at Beit Iba at the northern exit from Shechem, was removed several months ago.
Upon receiving news of the attack, MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) of the National Union said that “this is the first payment of the the 'at any price' of the Shalit deal, even before the deal has been carried out. The tracks lead to Netanyahu who is willing to release arch-murderers but freezes the lives of Jews and opens roadblocks, thus encouraging the terror he is surrendering to.”
The Kommemiyut movement reacted to the murder by saying: “The blood of the murdered man is on the hands of the Defense Secretary and the Prime Minister, who have carried out a morally corrupt policy of turning the beloved into an enemy, and the enemy into a loved one. It is time to wake up from illusions and from diplomatic adventures for which Jews and their families pay with their lives.”
'Blame Shalit deal'
MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (NU) said after the attack that “Netanyahu's path of surrender, the opening of roadblocks, the construction freeze and the freeing of terrorists signal to the terror that Jewish blood is free for the taking. The terrorist who committed the murder probably thought that he would make it to jail in time to be freed in the Shalit terrorist freedom deal. Bibi surrenders to terror.”
Efrat Mayor, Lt-Col (res) Oded Revivi said after the attack that “the Arabs in their twisted way have adopted the slogan 'they will get as much as they give' [coined by Netanyahu in his first term as prime minister – ed.]. The more concessions we give them, the more murder we get.”
MK Danny Danon said: “There should be an inquiry into whether or not today's terror attack was the result of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's policy of redirecting security forces to act against construction and residents, and not against terror.”
The Yesha Council said that the terror murder was “a direct result of the policy of easing [the pressure] on Palestinians, removal of essential roadblocks in Samaria and the transfer of security authority to those from whose ranks many terrorists have emerged and murdered Jews. As in similar cases in the past, the gestures to Abu Mazen again cost Jewish blood.”