Road 443, the major highway that enters Yerushalayim from the west, has for years been the target of terrorists, who have engaged in rock and shooting attacks on Israeli vehicles incessantly. That could be coming to an end, however. In recent weeks, the IDF has completed a major camera project along the road, installing 270 cameras that cover the entire length of the highway.
The cameras will record all the traffic and activities on the road, and operate around the clock. The hope is that the presence of the cameras will also discourage terrorists from carrying out attacks, as they have in other places, including the Old City of Yerushalayim. There, the presence of cameras that cover the entire area have reduced attacks to almost zero.
The decision to implement the camera program was taken based on the fact that Road 443 is one of only two highways into Yerushalayim from the center of the country, and the importance of keeping the road open. The road is actually preferred by many drivers, because it is less crowded than Road 1, which is currently undergoing major renovations.
During 2016, 61 terror attacks were reported on the road, lower than the 90 reported in 2015. Most of the attacks involved rocks and firebombs, but there were several shooting attacks as well. However, many more reports of suspicious activities on the road are filed regularly – 80 percent of them false – that requires the army to send out investigative units to determine if an incident took place or not. With the cameras transferring live video to army bases, it will be easier to determine if a real emergency has taken place, the IDF said.