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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

'Peace Now' wants you to sit in traffic

For months now, we've been looking at an exit ramp off Route 443 (the back road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) just outside Jerusalem, wondering where it goes. On Sunday, we got the answer to that question when the Ben Zion Netanyahu memorial interchange between Routes 443 and 20 was dedicated.
The completion of the NIS 180 million project for 400 meters of Highway 20 asphalt allows residents of the Jewish east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neveh Ya’acov to link up with Route 443 without traveling through French Hill and clogging up its roads.

Israeli Arabs living in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina will similarly be able to scoot more easily onto Route 443.

The road’s interchange was named for Netanyahu’s father, Benzion, who passed away on April 30 last year at age 102.
Sounds like something that should make everyone happy, right? Wrong.
Fatah spokesman Husam Zomlot attacked the opening of the road and said it showed that Israel was not serious about a two-state solution.


Hagit Ofran of Peace Now said that a small portion of Highway 20 goes through the West Bank, as it leaves Jerusalem’s municipal border and links to Route 443, which also cuts through the West Bank before linking with the major artery to Tel Aviv.

But, she said, the main issue was that such infrastructure deepens Israel’s hold on an area that should be part of a Palestinian state and makes it more difficult to come to a two-state solution.
I wonder how Ofran travels from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Highway 1 (the main highway) also cuts through Samaria for a couple of kilometers near Ramle. That leaves the old mountain road, which is awfully slow and narrow. Hmmm.

In any event, the rest of us are grateful for the traffic relief.

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