Netanyahu pledges NIS 800 million for West Bank roads

The decision follows settler campaign warning of roads' susceptibility to terror attacks.

October 25, 2017 15:23
1 minute read.
bypass road protest

Boaz Shabo, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, Culture Minister Miri Regev and Hadas Mizrahi in the protest tent encampment outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Jerusalem home.. (photo credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

The cabinet is expected to approve NIS 800 million on Sunday for new bypass roads in the West Bank to help prevent terrorist attacks, Culture Minister Miri Regev said on Wednesday.

“I believe that Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] wants to resolve this problem,” she said as she sat with settler leaders and terrorist victims in the protest tent they had set up on the sidewalk outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem official residence. “I want every citizen in the Land of Israel to feel that they can travel safely.”

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Earlier in the day, Netanyahu and his bureau chief, Yoav Horowitz, met with Yesha Council head Avi Ro’eh and the head of Amana, Ze’ev Hever. Horowitz told them the money would be in the 2018 budget.

Settlers have campaigned for the funds for the last month, demanding that Netanyahu do more to stop terrorist attacks on West Bank roads.

Ro’eh welcomed the prime minister’s words.

“This strategic message is good news for the residents of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley,” he said.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who has publicly spearheaded the campaign, was more cautious in his response.

On Tuesday, he and terrorist victims, including Hadas Mizrahi, set up the protest encampment.

“Netanyahu is once again making empty promises, just as he does after every terrorist attack,” Dagan said. “We will continue to sit here on the sidewalk outside of Netanyahu’s residence until his words have been translated into real actions.”

Mizrahi said she heard the same promises after her husband was killed in a shooting attack on a West Bank road three-and-a-half years ago, and since then nothing has happened.

“More people have been killed, but nothing has happened,” she said.

A number of ministers visited their tent on Wednesday, including Haim Katz, Eli Cohen, Gilad Erdan and Ofir Akunis.

The construction of bypass roads is part of a NIS 3 billion plan under consideration by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman that also includes better cellular coverage and lighting for the roads, as well as smart fences for all the settlements.

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