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Palestinian Authority Given Free Hand on ‘Dangerous’ Project

'Adding insult to injury' in Hevron region as Israel refuses to intervene in ‘dangerous’ PA road project.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/18/2014, 5:50 PM

Road accident near Hevron (file)
Road accident near Hevron (file)
Flash 90

The government is allowing the Palestinian Authority to go ahead with a “dangerous” road project affecting tens of thousands of Israelis, Malachi Levinger, head of the Kiryat Arba-Hevron Regional Council, accused Tuesday.

The PA has taken sole control of the construction of a traffic circle on Highway 60, Levinger explained. Requests from Israel’s National Roads Company to give input on the project were rejected, he said, and the needs of Israeli communities were not taken into consideration.

The road project is turning into a nightmare for Israelis in the region, he accused. “The circle is very narrow, and not suitable for a major road on which thousands of cars travel every day,” he explained.

Drivers are forced to make a complete stop before entering the narrow circle, he continued. “There is no lighting at night, making it dangerous,” he said.

The Roads Company “added insult to injury by allowing the Palestinians to put up signs directing drivers exclusively to Arab villages, and to remove signs for Jewish communities,” he accused.

Jewish communities in the area have turned to the Defense Ministry and the Transportation Ministry in an attempt to get Israel to intervene, Levinger said. “Unfortunately, the Civil Administration absolutely refused to stop the [road] work, and the relevant sources in the Transportation and Defense ministries refused to get involved,” he lamented.

Levinger noted that fears over the safety of the project have been confirmed by several recent traffic accidents at the scene. So far, accidents at the site have not led to fatalities, he said, but added, “We expect the Civil Administration and the IDF to come to their senses and give answers before this costs innocent lives.”