Arabs from the village of Einabus, 7.5 miles south of Shechem, on Thursday morning began clearing a road using a backhoe—from the outskirts of the village to the Israeli community of Yitzhar. This is ostensibly a closed military area, where no civilians are permitted to enter, so far the army has not moved to stop the work.
Yitzhar residents say that in recent weeks Palestinian Authority officials have announced that—on the orders of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, funds will be channeled to villages in Yitzhar’s vicinity in order to take possession of land in the area between those villages and Yitzhar.
Yitzhar, located just off Route 60, north of the Tapuach Junction, is predominantly Orthodox Jewish, with a population of roughly 1,500. The settlement was originally established in 1983 as a pioneer Nahal military outpost, and was de-militarized a year later, when it was turned over to residential use in 1984.
The Yitzhar settlement committee says that the new Arab road endangers the security of their community, by allowing vehicular traffic from the Arab village to the outskirts of Yitzhar, in an area where there have been many terrorist attacks and where Arabs have thrown Molotov cocktails at Jewish civilians.
“We expect the army to stop the work immediately and prevent a provocation, which according to our knowledge is being stirred up by elements of the Palestinian Authority and extreme left-wing organizations – whose goal is to heat up conflict in the area and endanger the residents of our community,” the Yitzhar settlement committee said.