Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Highway 55 on January 30, 2018..
(photo credit: GPO/AMOS BEN GERSHOM)
Holding a pair of steel scissors Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a symbolic ribbon for the opening of a new stretch of road, the Nabi Ellias by-pass in the Samaria region of the West Bank.
The new road will allow Israeli drivers to skirt the Palestinian villages of Nabi Ellias and Azzoun, whose residents lost a High Court of Justice case against the road.
“Our return to our homeland—that's what we're doing here today, in the heart of the Land of Israel.” Netanyahu emphasized.
He spoke in a large white tent set up just for the event in the Zufim settlement, recalling his late father, Benzion, whose spirit he said he felt at the event.
“He would have understood that what is happening today is Zionist, Jewish, nationalistic and historic,” Netanyahu said.
He added that the road was one of a number of West Bank by-passes his government was funding in order to improve safety for area residents and, in general, better connect all parts of the country.
“We are erasing the periphery,” he noted.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan thanked Netanyahu for his construction of the road and his support for Judea and Samaria.
Dagan also called on him to authorize the Havat Gilad outpost as a new settlement at next Sunday’s weekly government meeting.
One woman heckled Netanyahu at the end of the event and asked him to prevent the High Court of Justice mandated demolition of settler homes in the Netiv Ha’avot outpost in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.