Yehudah and Shomron Leaders: ‘Crisis of Trust’ With Government

YERUSHALAYIM -
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council. (Flash90)

Heads of communities in Yehudah and Shomron, as well as families who lost members to terror attacks in the area, gathered a press conference Wednesday to express their dissatisfaction with the pace and amount of assistance to their communities given by the government. The representatives, which included the heads of large communities throughout Yehudah and Shomron, called on the government to do much more to help communities “feel a part of Israel,” said Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council.

Last week, Dagan said that an announcement by the government that it would build some 3,800 homes in the region was more government spin. “Each housing unit that is approved by the Civil Authority gets counted for these announcements at least five times,” he said, adding that the plan was “incomplete,” because it did not include funding for construction of a promised industrial zone in Shomron, nor did it include money for bypass roads to ease traffic in the region.

Dagan extended that theme Wednesday, said that a “crisis of trust” had developed between the government and residents of Yehudah and Shomron. “People are getting killed in terror attacks, and time after time politicians come promising more security, better roads, more lighting, and other things that are considered basic elsewhere in Israel. You can’t build homes without paved roads, and you can’t build security on empty promises.” If things don’t improve, “we will sleep on the street outside the government, like families of those who lost loved ones to terror attacks have done in protest.”

Kiryat Arba-Chevron local council head Malachi Levinger said that the government was ignoring day to day needs as well. “The situation today is untenable. The roads are terrible, there are endless traffic jams and people cannot get to work. The Prime Minister has promised already for three months new plans for roads, but so far nothing.” Other heads of local authorities, including the mayors of Beit El and Beit Aryeh, expressed similar thoughts.

Hadas Mizrachi, the wife of Israeli police officer Baruch Mizrachi, Hy”d, who was killed in a terror attack on Erev Pesach 2014 in a shooting attack in the Har Chevron area as he was driving with his wife and children to a Pesach Seder, said that her parents lived in Kiryat Arba, and that it was very difficult to get there. “You can’t drive to Kiryat Arba without getting attacked with rocks or firebombs,” she said.

“Why do residents of Yehudah and Shomron have to suffer like this? I am here to demand that the government allocate funds for the repair of roads, and to increase cellular coverage, so that we can call for assistance when it is needed.” Had there been better cellphone coverage, Mizrachi added, it’s possible that she could have called for help more quickly and perhaps have even saved his life.