Road 12 near the border with Egypt is to be opened for traffic today, Monday. This follows a "situation assessment" session headed by the Southern Command Head, Major General Tal Russo.
Maj. Gen. Russo declared, however, that travelling on the road in the section between the Sayarim Junction and the Netafim border crossing will only be permitted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Furthermore, the permission to travel in the section of the road refers only to the road itself; traveling off-route in the area between the road and the international border is still forbidden. Travelers and hikers will only be allowed in the area to the east of the road during daylight between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The order forbids any entry on foot or in a vehicle to the section of the road specified above between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; however, special permits can be given by personnel who are authorized to do so by the Southern Command.
Route 12 was first closed following the coordinated terrorist attacks in August 2011 in which eight Israelis were killed. It was closed again after the IAF eliminated senior Popular Resistance Committees terrorist Zuheir Al-Qaisi, and remained closed as long as there was reason to believe that a terrorist strike was about to take place there.
Since then, the IDF has been working intensively to make conditions on the road as secure as possible. Among other things, construction of the border fence was accelerated, troops were reinforced, means of intelligence gathering were added, and other protective measures were put in place to deal with the existing threat of terrorist activities in the area.