Israeli officials and army units prevented the Palestinian Authority from paving an illegal road which cut through a nature reserve in the Judean Desert, an act which would have violated agreements between the PA and Israel.
Officials from Israel’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) – the Defense Ministry department which coordinates Israeli actions in Judea and Samaria with the PA – barred PA workers from paving a five-kilometer stretch of road in Area B.
Area B of Judea and Samaria is administered by the Palestinian Authority, according to the Oslo agreements, but is under Israeli security control.
While the PA is authorized to build and maintain transportation networks in Area B, it is barred from doing so inside of nature reserves, in keeping with the Oslo agreements.
Officials from COGAT, the Israeli Civil Administration – which administers much of Judea and Samaria – and Israeli army forces shut down the illegal road paving operation, seizing a tractor and truck, both of which were impounded at a site in Gush Etzion.
The enforcement operation came after Israeli security personnel were dispatched to the site of the road paving work on two separate occasions. On both occasions, the PA workers managed to flee the scene.