The new illegal road
The new illegal roadCourtesy: Regavim

The Regavim movement has spotted an illegal road being built by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the middle of the Judean Desert with money transferred from the European Union.

Regavim has filed a court case against the illegal construction with Israel's High Court of Justice.

The PA completed several weeks ago preparations for the construction of a road which extends beyond its territory of control and into Gush Etzion, heading towards the Dead Sea.

Regavim had notified Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) of the illegal building more than six months ago. However, Israeli authorities chose not to take action at that time. Since then heavy machinery has prepared the road for paving.

While previous promises from then ministers Avigdor Liberman and Yisrael Katz regarding Israel’s desire to pave a highway connecting Gush Etzion to the Dead Sea have remained as good intentions only, the PA has taken up the work and is building the road instead.

The new road illegally cuts through the Judean Desert, and passes through areas that are under full Israeli control. It has received no permits from the Israeli government.

Preparation has been completed on eight and a half kilometers of the road, which is expected to be twenty kilometers long once it is finished.   

Oved Arad, the head of the land division of Regavim said “this road is a snake in the grass. We are talking about a strategic impediment of the highest order. According to the Oslo accords this is the only spot that Israel can construct this important road that can connect from Gush Etzion to the Dead Sea and from there to the Jordan Valley and the Arava.”

“If the Palestinians build the road with EU funding, it will allow them to gain control of large amounts of Israeli land in the Judean Desert, and annex it to their control.”   

“Israel cannot give up on the land, and certainly not to allow foreign countries to come in and take it over.”

Sources in Regavim added that “according to documents signed by the EU, they have instructed that the money being used to build the road, is intended for the Palestinian authority to 'gnaw away at' Area C and appropriate its land.”

“This is highly illegal and completely unacceptable. Israel must tell the EU that enough is enough.”