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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Highway 60’

Obama White House Condemns Designation of Gush Etzion Lot as ‘State Land’

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has sharply condemned the Israeli government’s decision Sunday to designate a lot in Gush Etzion as state land.

The decision came as a direct result of the kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists of three teenage yeshiva students on the site in early June.

The U.S. claimed the move would damage future final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a Statement Department spokesman said. “This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians. We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.”

In general, the U.S. has opposed Israeli development in Judea and Samaria, although most past administrations have ameliorated their concerns, depending on circumstance.

The 4,000-dunam lot is located adjacent to the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut, not far from bus stop and hitchhiking post where Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar were abducted by Hamas terrorists and then murdered on June 12. Their bodies were found three weeks later in Judea after a massive manhunt by thousands of IDF soldiers and security personnel, in a field owned by the Hebron-based Qawasme clan along Highway 60 between Hebron and Gush Etzion in the PA town of Halhul.

Prior to the designation, the Judea and Samaria civil administration had designated the status of the area — known as Geva’ot — as ‘survey land’ as ordered by the political establishment after the bodies of the three teens were recovered. The move froze the status of the area and prevented construction plans from moving through the system until a determination could be made about its future, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Geva’ot is not new. In 1982, an Israeli cabinet decision laid the groundwork for development of the area as an IDF Nahal community, which started in 1984 and then closed two years later. For the next 10 years the site became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva, with small pre-fab homes. In 1998, The Gush Etzion Regional Council reached out to the government, requesting construction of a full-scale city on the site similar to Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’il Illite and Beitar Illit. Plans began but two years later were dropped due to international diplomatic pressure. In 2008, once again the plans were picked up and moved forward in 2009, especially after the Annapolis Summit came to naught. By 2012, initial authorization for 523 homes was secured from the Defense Ministry — and there the project was frozen.

Gush Etzion is well within the area Israel is likely to retain in any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

The PA immediately responded that the site belongs to districts of two separate PA-controlled cities: Bethlehem and Hebron. Bethlehem is located across the road and is more than five and a half miles north. Hebron is the same distance, to the south.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declared Sunday evening, “The settlement enterprise is illegal,” in a sweeping condemnation of every Jewish city, town and village built in Judea and Samaria, including any that might be built on the newly-designated state land. Nearly 400,000 Jews now live in Judea and Samaria.

He, too, said the move would “bring about a further deterioration” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which at this point includes Hamas in its unity government.

The PA has had to be repeatedly dragged to the negotiations table over the years, each time with ‘enticements’ and ‘good will gestures’ forced on Israel by the United States.

One of the Murdered Boys Put Up a Fight, Source Says

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

One of the three boys kidnapped by Arab terrorists on June 12 gave a good accounting of himself and put up a fight before he was murdered, a source said.

The source is involved in the forensic identification process of three bodies found in a field near Halhul Monday evening and said one of the boys fought back against his attackers.

The source told the Walla! news site that forensic evidence being gathered at the Abu Kabir Institute shows that one of the teens put up “meaningful resistance” against the kidnappers.

The boys were abducted by terrorists while hitchhiking home from their yeshiva for the Sabbath, at a routine hitching stop in Gush Etzion. An IDF source told the news site that after the Arab terrorists grabbed the boys near the Jewish community of Alon Shevut, the vehicle they were traveling in headed west and then made a U-turn to go south towards Hevron.

Within minutes, at about 10:25 p.m., one of the boys called the “100″ police hotline, whispering into the cell phone, “I’ve been kidnapped. We’ve been kidnapped!” He then went silent, perhaps fearing his captors would discover he was using the phone. Shortly after the call was made, shots were fired and the phone went dead, a little more than two minutes later.

It is likely the terrorists decided to cut their losses and run. They had no way of knowing that police had bumbled the call, leaving open a window of more than five hours before anyone in supervision or above would even take the call seriously, let alone bother to follow it up. (At least four senior police officers have been dismissed as a result of that decision.)

Instead, the kidnappers likely believed that police would soon be on their tail – and decided to end all doubts, murdering the boys and escaping with their own lives intact.

Within hours of starting their search, security forces found a burned-out vehicle, a rifle and bullet casings near the Palestinian Authority Arab village of Dura, slightly south of Hevron – a hotbed of Hamas terrorists, among others. It’s been searched repeatedly by IDF soldiers in the past 19 days.

But no kidnapped boys were found; no bodies and no perpetrators. The terrorists took just enough time to hurriedly transport and bury their victims’ bodies in a shallow cave that is barely visible in a farmer’s stony field, alongside the PA Arab village of Halhul — another classic ‘terrorist central’ stronghold.

Thanks to the determination and unending energy of tens of thousands of IDF soldiers, and the intensive efforts of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents, searchers were led in the direction of that field Monday afternoon.

Despite fierce resistance from surrounding villagers who clearly knew what was concealed there, at last the searchers reached their first objective in Operation Brother’s Keeper, and found the sad evidence they were looking for.

Let the memory of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar not fade, let their blood not have flowed in vain.

May their memories be for a blessing and may God avenge their blood.

May the soldiers of the IDF and the agents of the Shin Bet find success in the next phase of Operation Brother’s Keeper as they continue their hunt for the murders of our boys.

PA Arabs Attack IDF Ambulance Carrying Teens’ Bodies

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Palestinian Authority Arabs attacked the IDF humvee ambulance that carried the bodies of the three Israeli teens out of the PA Arab village of Halhul, north of Hevron.

The Arabs hurled rocks and paint at the ambulance, smashing its windshield and blinding the windows – as road terrorists have done in similar attacks on Highway 60 — but failed to cause the driver to lose control of his vehicle and crash with his precious passengers.

The boys’ bodies were found in a cave or pit, situated in an open field near the Judean village, located just north of Hevron.

The teens were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home from yeshiva for the Sabbath, and almost immediately murdered by the Arab terrorists who abducted them.

Israel Police raised its alert to the second highest level nationwide on Monday evening in the wake of the discovery of the bodies of the murdered teens.

New Hi-Tech PA Arab Road Terror Tactics

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists are using new hi-tech methods in their efforts to murder Israelis on the roads in Judea and Samaria.

A Jewish driver reported Sunday he nearly became the first victim of the new technique on Highway 60 in Samaria. The incident occurred near the Jewish town of Ofra.

According to the driver, an Arab vehicle pulled up alongside his own car. The Arab driver then pointed a laser at his eyes, trying to blind him and force him to lose control of his vehicle.

“He tried to divert my view from the road so that I would crash,” the driver told the Arutz Sheva website. “By a miracle I managed to escape… it’s clear that he tried to kill me.”

The number of road terror incidents has risen over the past year, since the start of the dead-on-arrival ‘framework talks’ forced on Israel and the Palestinian Authority by the United States.

Despite the risk, road blocks that prevented terrorists from scooting into Arab villages after an attack were removed from major hot spots along Highway 60 in Judea and Samaria.

Since the start of the talks, a sleek new traffic circle and intersection – funded by USAID — has replaced what once was a blocked entrance to the city of Hevron along Highway 60 in Judea, and the village of Shuyukh on the opposite side.

Today, instead, the entrance to the village is now a brand new road with a new sign bearing the name ‘Al-Shuyukh.’ On the other side of the road, a large, gated entrance to Hevron is protected with electronic fencing and security in place. It’s not clear who controls what there.

A massive traffic circle plus the free passage of pedestrians across the road slows the traffic on Highway 60 – a major artery – to a trickle, often causing traffic jams during the busiest hours.

Such traffic jams can be deadly for Jewish drivers on such a road; vehicles with Israeli license plates become sitting ducks for hostile Arabs and PA terrorists on the hunt for victims.

Even slowdowns can be lethal; in September 2011, Kiryat Arba resident Asher Palmer paid the price with his life and that of his one year old toddler Yonatan. Palmer was killed in a drive-by road terror attack after Arab terrorists hurled a huge rock at his windshield while driving by his car on Highway 60. The rock hit Palmer square in the face; he lost control of his car, which then crashed, killing both him and his baby son.

Only through the persistence of medics who had been on the scene, activists and media coverage did the circumstances of Palmer’s murder become clear. Initially police and other officials believed Palmer’s car had crashed by accident.

Naftali Bennett Urges Netanyahu, ‘Annex Settlement Blocs Now!’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex Area C, which encompasses all of the Jewish settlement blocs in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron.)

“It is clear that the diplomatic process has run its course and that we are entering a new era,” Bennett wrote to the prime minister in a letter sent Wednesday. “We have been hitting our heads against the wall of negotiations over and over again for years and we keep getting surprised when the wall did not break. The time has come for new thinking.”

Bennett’s “Settlement Blocs First” plan calls to annex Area C, which is controlled entirely by the State of Israel, and offering Israeli citizenship to Arabs living there. Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the Judea and Samaria regional sector, is home to at least 350,000 Jews – none of whom live in Area A (under full PA control) or Area B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control.)

Highway 60, a favorite target for road terror attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs, is the main artery that runs from the north to the south from Samaria (Shomron) through Judea (Yehuda) to Be’er Sheva and is routed mostly through Area B.

Under Bennett’s proposal, Areas A and B would receive increased autonomy and a massive infusion of financial investment to upgrade the quality of life in those areas.

He explained the plan on the U.S.-based CNN network last night (Wednesday) and said he will begin to publicize it in the international forums. Bennett contended that since Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and its reunification of Jerusalem was never recognized internationally anyway, another annexation will not make a difference.

Included in the blocs to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El, Ofra, Ariel and the communities overlooking Ben Gurion International Airport.

Stone Throwing in Gush Etzion

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Hatzala of Judea and Samaria reports that Arabs were throwing stones at cars travelling along the road between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion. The rock throwing occurred near the El Hadr (Beitar) Junction on Highway 60.

No injuries were reported.

Terror on the Roads: Arabs Oil Up

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

For the second time in just over a week, Arabs have poured oil on the main road connecting Highway 60 to Beitar (near Efrat), in the middle of the night.

A little over a week ago, Arabs poured oil on the same road causing a car to spin out of control and crash.

The fire department was sent to clean up the oil.

On Friday, Efrat residents protested the lack of security on that and other roads in Gush Etzion.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/terror-on-the-roads-arabs-oil-up/2013/05/26/

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