IllustrationNati Shohat/Flash 90

Leshem, a new suburb in western Samaria, is now the place where the old expression “you can't get there from here” applies. As of Wednesday night, the road into town is closed down, and the only way residents, visitors, delivery personnel, and others can get into Leshem is via a rutted security road.

The story began in November 2011, when local Arabs petitioned the High Court, claiming that the land the road was built on belonged to them. The road, it should be noted, was in planning stages for over a decade, and had been approved by all the relevant authorities.

The court received the case in June 2013, and ordered that it be shut down within a year. The court gave Leshem another extension in June of this year, and that extension expired on October 22; the court refused to extend the date further.

During that period, the town had been feverishly working on plans for an alternative access road – but all plans require approval, which takes years – not to mention construction, which would take even longer. As of now, none of the plans have received final approval.

Presenting their dilemma, town officials pleaded with the court for another extension – which it denied. Now, the only access into and out of the town is via a security road into the neighboring town of Alei Zahav – and it's suitable only for off-road vehicles, jeeps, and the like. Town officials said they would appeal for emergency government or Knesset assistance to alleviate the situation.