The road to Beitin
The road to Beitin Avi Shimshi

The new road leading from Ramallah to the Arab town of Bitin in Samaria was opened to Arab traffic by the IDF as a "gesture" on Monday, only to be closed again on Tuesday following a serious security incident committed by an Arab driver.

On Monday night, mere hours after the opening, an Arab car driving on the road blocked a Jewish car on its way to Beit El, which is located adjacent to the new road, forcing the Jewish driver to swerve to the side of the road.

While the incident ended without any violence, it easily could have been the lead-in to a terrorist attack.

The IDF's Brigade Commander, who had warned in advance that any security incident would lead to the road being closed again, followed through on his promise.

Following the road closure, the Beit El regional council said it had "earnestly opposed the opening of the Bitin road, both in terms of security and (road) safety. Despite the opposition of the council, and despite its protest, the road was opened."

"Mere hours after the opening of the road there was a security incident, due to which the sector's Brigade Commander ordered to close the road," they noted. "The council appreciates the firm position of the Brigade Commander and thanks the army for its quick response."

The IDF "gesture" to open the road was made despite repeated warnings that the move, like similar moves on other roads, would lead to a security threat against the Jewish residents.

Last week, dozens of Beit El residents protested against the opening of the road.

Beit El regional head Shai Alon said at the protest, "Beit El has been turned into an enclave, and this time we won't let it happen quietly. We have turned to the defense minister, the transportation minister and the head of the Civil Administration, clarifying that this is a red line we won't cross."

Speaking on Wednesday morning after the road was closed again, Alon urged to "preserve strength because we have a long road ahead."

"We aren't just demanding the closure of the new route, but also demanding the opening of the Wallerstein Route, opening the old Highway 60 to allow residents to live normal lives," he said, calling for additional transportation solutions to Jewish residents of the region.