The Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) has filed a petition to the High Court that the IDF plan, drawn up under a court order, to reopen Highway 443 constitutes a clear and present threat of the return of terror.
In what may be the largest-ever court petition in Israel, approximately 1,000 families living near the highway have joined the appeal, arguing that proposed IDF checkpoints along the road are not sufficient to stop Palestinian Authority terrorists.
Since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, in 2000, six Jews have been murdered on the road, which connects northern Jerusalem with the city of Modi’in and Ben Gurion Airport. The new city of Modiin is located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and its population has grown to more than 60,000.
The IDF ordered the road closed in 2002, but the High Court last December accepted a pro-Arab petition and ruled that the closure is an illegal punitive action against the Arab population, although many of the terrorists lived in or fled to Arab villages near the highway after attacks.
The petition included an opinion by Uzi Dayan, former National Security Advisor, who said that the proposed checkpoints are not sufficient to thwart attacks because Arab drivers, once on the road, can meet up with terrorists at sealed off portions of the highway.
The petition also noted a recent survey showing that reopening Highway 443 under the proposed IDF plan would cause overcrowding on Highway 1 connecting Jerusalem with Tel Aviv. More than 75 percent of the drivers on the highway will use it less, if at all, if the IDF plan is put into effect.
“The High Court is continuing to play roulette with Israeli lives,” argued Israel Law Center director Nitzana Darshan-Leitner: