More than 200 residents of Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighborhood and left-wing activists demonstrated on Tuesday evening against a planned extension of the Begin Highway that will run through their neighborhood.
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“This is a continuation of the settlement policy, and we’re not going to pay the price of connecting the settlements to Tel Aviv,” said 33-year-old Beit Safafa resident Dareen Khattab. The highway will provide high-speed access for commuters from the Gush Etzion settlements to Jerusalem and beyond.
Beit Safafa activist Duaa Subhi said the highway, which will be six lanes wide at some points, is located too close to homes for this type of high-speed intercity road. Two houses are located three meters away from the planned road, and more than 25 homes are less than 20 meters away. The municipality needs specific permits from national planning committees to locate highways so close to residential areas.