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Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Judea and Samaria roads to be opened to 'Palestinians'

A day after the 'Supreme Court' ruled that the government and the IDF must open Route 443 to 'Palestinian' traffic, the government is preparing to argue in court against opening the remaining 59 kilometers of highway that are currently closed to that traffic due to security concerns.
According to the B'Tselem advocacy organization, there are still 59 kilometers of roads in the West Bank that are off limits to Palestinian traffic. Most notably are the roads that link the Palestinian village of Hawara with the settlement of Elon Moreh, the road that connects the Palestinian town of Salfit with Road 5 and the Kedar road near Ma'aleh Adumim.

Officials said that the Defense Ministry's legal department was preparing defenses for expected petitions by human rights and advocacy organizations against the closure of these roads to Palestinian Authority traffic.
I don't think the government has a shot in hell of getting the 'Supreme Court' to approve keeping those roads closed. Consider the arguments for keeping Route 443 closed that none of these other roads has.
The road was closed to such traffic in 2002 following a spate of terror attacks along the road that killed six people. Until then, the road had served as many as 55,000 Palestinians living in several villages along the length of the highway, including Beit Sira, Safa, Beit Ur a-Tahta and Khirbet el-Misbah.


The court gave the IDF five months to make preparations to open a 14-kilometer section of Road 443 that is between two checkpoints - one called Maccabim near Modi'in, and the other on the opposite side near Jerusalem. To ensure the safety of Israeli drivers, the IDF will likely increase its presence on the highway and erect additional watchtowers to deter and spot potential attackers.

"This is a matter of strategic importance since this is one of only two highways that connects Jerusalem with the center of the country," one IDF source said Wednesday. "We need to make sure that it is safe and open at all times."

In addition to potential shooting attacks on the road, the IDF is also concerned with the possibility that Palestinian terrorists will plant improvised explosive devices near the highway. Two weeks ago, security forces discovered the remains of an IED - made of a gas balloon and firecrackers - that had gone off along the road.
Fortunately, in the Israeli system, you don't need a constitutional amendment to overrule the 'Supreme Court.' The answer to this ruling is legislative and not more judicial proceedings.
Right-wing MKs sprang into action in the wake of the High Court decision, with MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu) proposing a private member's bill that would annex "the road known as 443 into the authority of the State of Israel as was done with the annexation of the Golan Heights."

At that point, 443 would not be considered by Israel to be part of the West Bank, and thus Israel would not be obligated to allow Palestinians without Israeli identity cards to drive on the road, he said.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) also tried to find a legislative solution to the Supreme Court ruling, by calling on the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to meet to discuss the implications "and to find a suitable solution."

If the committee does not hold an urgent hearing on the subject, Danon threatened that he, too, would submit legislation that would allow a security or diplomatic body to bypass the High Court on the decision.
The Knesset is currently controlled by mostly sane people. The Knesset should do whatever needs to be done to keep this decision from ever being implemented. Before someone - God forbid - gets killed out there.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The law needs to be changed to force the Israel Supreme Court to follow the recommendations of the relevant security bodies and not to substitute its uninformed judgment for theirs. Otherwise a lot of people are going to be injured and killed. Its time to put an end to reckless judicial activism in Israel. Jews are not the subject of a government experiment.


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