Givat Ze’ev asks High Court to move Highway 443 checkpoint

"Local security guards would suddenly become responsible for guarding a border crossing," petitioners say.

By ABE SELIG
March 29, 2010 01:00
1 minute read.
A roadblock on Route 443.

checkpoint 443 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The Givat Ze’ev Local Council on Sunday filed a petition with the High Court of Justice, in an effort to stop the construction of an IDF checkpoint at the Ofer junction, saying it would endanger their community after Highway 443 – which runs between Jerusalem and Modi’in – is reopened to Palestinians in the coming months.

In December, the High Court ruled in favor of a petition filed by Palestinians whose villages are located along 443 and who demanded that the court allow them to travel on the road.

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The court’s ruling stipulated that the army needed to find a solution to security issues surrounding the joint use of the road by Palestinians and Israelis, and ordered that it be opened to such traffic within five months.

However, residents of Givat Ze’ev, which is home to some 11,000 people and is also near 443, said the army’s plan to set up a checkpoint at the Ofer junction was unacceptable and demanded that it be moved to the the Beit Horon junction, near the entrance to Givat Ze’ev’s Agan Ayalot neighborhood, which is located just west of the community’s main section.

“Moving the checkpoint is vital, and without moving it, any security arrangement would be meaningless,” the petition reads.

“Construction work on the checkpoint must be halted until the needed solutions are drafted, to prevent risk while taking into account the arguments of Givat Ze’ev’s residents,” it continued.


Residents also voiced disapproval with the current plan on Sunday, telling The Jerusalem Post it endangered Givat Ze’ev’s residents.



“The current solutions being provided by the army are completely unacceptable,” one resident familiar with the security situation there told the Post.

“If this plan were to go ahead, the local security guards in Givat Ze’ev would suddenly become responsible for guarding a border crossing, and that is simply foolish.

“We have made repeated requests to the army to consider these ramifications, although as of now, we have heard no response,” he continued. “And while similarly bad decisions have been made in that past, I truly hope we’ve learned our lesson, and don’t repeat them again.”

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