Alert soldiers shot dead the attacker
Alert soldiers shot dead the attackerGershon Elinson/Flash 90

Protecting Israeli citizens at Gush Etzion junction has become one of the major challenges of the IDF's Central Command. Following a series of drive-by shootings, stabbings, and rock-throwing attacks, the IDF has increased its military presence there. 

In addition, in order to protect the Jewish residents without restricting the movement of Palestinian Arabs living in the region, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged to build a bypass road - a 200 meter (656 foot) -long section already under construction.

Work on the bypass has stopped, however, due to disagreements between the IDF and the Civil Administration over the road. 

Noting that the quarrel endangers the lives of Gush Etzion residents, MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (Jewish Home) filed an urgent request to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon Monday, demanding to solve the conflict. 

"You can stop the madness and get the road built tomorrow," Muallem-Refaeli stated, noting that the Civil Administration should be banned from taking steps that could endanger lives. "We must be concerned about their safety."

"The conduct of civil administration in this regard is embarrassing and pokes fun at the Prime Minister's decision, designed to protect the lives of residents while allowing traffic to Palestinian Arabs," she continued. "The situation at the Gush requires thinking outside of the box that will allow daily life to continue, but the Administration's decision to stop the construction of the bypass just endangers lives." 

Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council Davidi Perl agreed.

"We cannot accept the cessation of security measures that the Prime Minister and Defense Minister decided upon," he said. "It's even more unacceptable in light of the fact that the solution is in the authority of the Minister of Defense."

"We demand the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister not only be satisfied with making statements, but will ensure implementation of all measures on the ground, [measures] they decided in their visit to Gush Etzion," he added. "The Jewish communities of Gush Etzion remain and continue to evolve in light of the challenges, and expect and deserve adequate security to be implemented immediately."