Beit Haggai, Binyamin Residents May Lose Roadblock Protection
A report Thursday morning said that the IDF was considering removing roadblocks near Arab villages in the Hevron area. One of the roadblocks to be removed is one at the south end of Hevron, near the Jewish town of Beit Haggai.
The report on Army Radio said that a team of IDF experts were in the field to determine the risk/reward ratio of removing the roadblocks. The roadblock is considered a major hindrance by Arabs to free passage along the road, and they have been lobbying the army for some time to remove it. The experts are set to meet with Jewish residents of the area and hear their opinions.
South Hevron Hills Council chairman Tzviki Bar Hai warned against removing the roadblocks, saying that it was a “dangerous decision. We do not know where the next terrorist attack will come from. Unfortunately Beit Haggai has seen its share of terrorist attacks, with dead and injured.” Without the roadblock and the ensuing of free Arab traffic on the road near the town, said Bar Hai, the likelihood of attacks increased significantly. “There is no justification for the opening of this roadblock, which was set up in the first place to stop terror attacks,” he added.
In addition to the Hevron roadblocks, the army is considering removing a roadblock north of Ramallah, in the heartland of Jewish towns in the Binyamin region. That roadblock, too, was set up to prevent terror attacks.
In a statement, the IDF said that the roadblock removals were in line with the IDF's policy to ease conditions during the month of Ramadan, which is going on now. “This will only be done after the needed security preparations are undertaken. The IDF works to ensure that all residents can live their lives in an unencumbered manner as possible, within the necessary security considerations.”