Six months after terror attack, Route 12 reopens

IDF says security improvements made along the route in the aftermath of August terror attack enabled the road's opening.

Egypt border 311 (photo credit: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)
Egypt border 311
(photo credit: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)
Six months after a terrorist cell from Egypt infiltrated southern Israel and murdered eight Israelis on Route 12, which straddles the Egyptian-Israeli border, the IDF reopened the road to traffic on Sunday.
The army said it reached its decision after evaluating the security situation, and after a series of fortifications were installed along the route to protect passing civilian traffic.
During the time the road was closed (from August until now), the IDF worked intensively to build defenses in sections that are adjacent to the border, including the construction of a high barbed-wire fence, the introduction of more patrols, and new army lookout positions.
Additionally, the IDF said it created more effective terror-alert systems in the area that will allow for lightening-quick responses to attacks stemming from the Sinai Peninsula.
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OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo issued an order to allow civilian traffic to begin flowing along the route between Sayarim Junction to the Netafim junction between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m.
A strict ban will be in place against vehicles swerving off the road into the international border area, which is a closed military zone.
Tourists will be allowed to walk along the area east of the road during daytime hours only, the IDF added.
One hundred kilometers of the 240-km.- long Egyptian-Israeli border is now protected by the new barrier.
In August, eight people were killed and at least 29 were injured in terror attacks involving suicide bombings and automatic weapons in the area.