Jewish Residents Protest Removal of Road Blockade
Residents of the northwestern Shomron Jewish community of Avnei Hefetz demonstrated on Thursday against the removal of a roadblock which prevented residents of the neighboring Arab village of Shufa from crossing the highway.
Tzvi Dardik from the secretariat of Avnei Hefetz said during the demonstration, “The IDF decided to remove the barrier despite having promised not to do so until the road is adjusted to accommodate the large masses of residents of Shechem who will travel through it. We once again warn that if no changes are made, including widening the road and adding lighting - the road will become a death trap. The road is not built to accommodate the great mass of Arabs who will pass through if the barrier comes down.
The opening of the road comes after on Wednesday, the road between Beit Furik and Elon Moreh was opened for the first time in 12 years.
The road, which is known as the Madison Route, connects to the Samaria Brigade base, passes through the entrance to Itamar and ends at the community of Elon Moreh.
The road was closed to vehicles with the onset of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, in 2000. Since then, the IDF has prohibited Arab residents of the area to drive through the road, after terrorists carried out a number of shooting attacks directed against Israeli vehicles.
On Wednesday, residents of Elon Moreh protested against the opening of Madison Route and prevented Arabs from passing through.
“This road has known quite a few shooting attacks,” said Benny Katzover, a resident of Elon Moreh and chairman of the Samaria Residents’ Committee. “If the security situation is so good, why aren’t the other traffic routes opened to Jews? And why are we not discussing a Jewish return to Joseph's Tomb?”
Katzover added, “Opening the road will make it easier for the Arabs to ‘accidentally’ enter Elon Moreh or Itamar. This will give them a wide range of options to hurt us.”
He noted that a number of stabbings have recently been prevented in the area added, “Opening the road to Arabs will be life threatening for us.”