At the crossroads

The Gush Etzion junction, on the main thoroughfare between Jerusalem and the West Bank, is an improbable meeting point for thousands of Israelis and Palestinians,and a flashpoint of terror

November 26, 2015 12:27
IDF Gush Etzion

IDF soldiers secure the perimeter of the traffic circle at the Gush Etzion junction during a demonstration by residents. (photo credit: LAURA KELLY)


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The murder of 21-year-old Hadar Buchris was the last straw for mothers living in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

Buchris, who was studying in a seminary in the area, had long brown hair, almond-shaped eyes and a pleasant smile. While waiting at a bus stop Sunday afternoon at the junction, she was attacked by a Palestinian, and stabbed in the head and chest. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. Within 24 hours of the attack, hundreds of Israeli residents of the area returned to the scene on Monday to demonstrate for peace and security.

Rivka Epstein Hattin, a piano teacher from Alon Shvut and one of the main organizers of the event, said she’s had enough of the violence. “We’re great at making meals for dead people,” she said ironically, “but we need to focus on our celebrations. We need to come together as a nation, call out to God to help us. We also need to use our brilliant minds – focus our brilliant minds on solutions for our children.”


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