Israelis from the town of Elazar and neighboring communities in Gush Etzion held a protest outside the Transportation Ministry in Jerusalem, demanding immediate action on what they say is a notoriously dangerous section of Road 60.
They expressed outrage over the recently injury of 17-year-old Nofer-Hodaya Shimon, who was recently hit by a truck as she tried to cross the junction at the entrance to Elazar to get to her family’s home.
Nofer-Hodaya was hit by a PA-resident truckdriver as she crossed the road. She remains in very serious condition with multiple injuries.
Residents of Elazar say Nofer was careful, but fell victim to poor road conditions. “The junction is very dangerous, to pedestrians and to drivers, because vision is so limited,” one explained.
A statement from the community said, “How is it possible that there is a bus stop at the junction for letting passengers on and off, but there is no recognized, safe crosswalk when the town the stop is meant for is across the road?”
“Human life is being neglected in order to save money, or because of a lack of funding,” it continued. “A small financial investment could save lives.”
Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion regional council, joined the protest. “We’re very sorry to have reached this moment. We’re very sorry that we had to come to this point,” he said.
“Could we not have prevented this disaster? Have we not been warning the authorities for some time that this highway and this junction are dangerous, that they must be upgraded?” he demanded.
“We call on the Transportation Ministry to begin work at the junction immediately,” he declared.
Similar concerns have been raised regarding safety at the entrance to the nearby community of Daniel. The Gush Etzion regional council and both towns have sought to install traffic lights at the entrance to Daniel and Elazar in order to allow residents to cross the street safely, but the Transportation Ministry has yet to transfer funding for the project.