Work on key Samaria bypass road begins

Three years after the Samaria governor's hunger strike, the bypass road he demanded is underway.

Shlomo Witty ,

חוגגים את תחילת הסלילה של כביש עוקף חווארה
חוגגים את תחילת הסלילה של כביש עוקף חווארה
צילום: דוברות שומרון

Three years after the hunger strike and the bypass road agreement in Judea and Samaria which was led by Samaria Regional Council Chief Yossi Dagan, along with then-heads Avi Naim and Malachi Levinger and several bereaved families, work was begun today (Sunday) on a road to bypass the town of Hawara.

This is one of the most expensive and strategic projects in Judea and Samaria and its cost is estimated at ILS 260 million. The road is intended to connect the center of the country to the localities of Gav HaHar, Yitzhar, Itamar, Elon Moreh and Har Bracha, and will provide a safe trip for residents and passengers to these areas.

Approximately three years ago, a protest tent was set up by heads of councils and bereaved families demanding that Prime Minister Netanyahu approve budgets for the construction of bypass roads and security measures in communities and roads in Judea and Samaria.

Since the agreement was signed with Prime Minister Netanyahu, which brought an end to the hunger strike and a budget of NIS 800 million for roads bypassing the Palestinian Authority towns of Hawara, Al-Arub, Qalandiya, Luban as well as Route 446. Dagan worked with Transportation Ministers Israel Katz, Bezalel Smotrich, and Miri Regev to see the project realized.

The project is to be executed by Toreev Holdings Contracting and is estimated to take approximately two years to complete. It will stretch 7.3 kilometers, starting one kilometer south of Yitzhar junction.

The inauguration of the road was attended by the Samaria chief Yossi Dagan, his deputy, David Ben-Zion, Yoni HaIsraeli and Yaakov Weinberger, leaders of the Likud Settlement Group, Matanya Shapira, Vice President of Yesha Council, and Rafi Avital of the Chief of Staff of the Council.

Dagan thanked the Minister of Transport Miri Regev, the bereaved families who joined the hunger strike (headed by Hadas Mizrahi, the widow of Baruch Mizrahi), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister Israel Katz, MK Bezalel Smotrich, MK Naftali Bennett, Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, Netivei CEO Israel Nissim Peretz, Transportation Chief of Staff Israel Afriat, Council Transportation Coordinator Rafi Avital.

Dagan thanked Miri Regev in particular, saying that "She works for the entire State of Israel with determination and professionalism, and the periphery, including Judea and Samaria. She made the issue her flagship project, and without her push and commitment it was impossible to move forward."

"This is a groundbreaking, historic moment for Samaria and the entire settlement effort. In about two years, the mountain settlements will become accessible to the center of the country. The road is expected to make traveling in the area safer for both Arabs and Jews, it is hoped that paving the road will lead to prosperity in the area."