Gov’t Approves Construction of Hawara Bypass Road

Israeli security forces secure the scene after a Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab Israelis near the Hawara checkpoint, south of Shechem, Wednesday. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

The government has authorized the construction of a road that will allow drivers in Shomron to avoid the Arab town of Hawara, located on Road 60. The new road, said Yesha Council head Chananel Dorani, will significantly improve the security of drivers in the area, as well as reduce the traffic jams that are a constant feature of the trip to the “rear of the mountain” Israeli towns in the region of Har Bracha, Eli and other towns in the region.

Drivers who take the east-west roads across Shomron to the area are often surprised to find themselves in a major traffic jam, driving slowly through the large Arab town of Hawara, located right on the main highway. The presence of Israeli vehicles in the town has long been a bane for security officials, and Hawara has often been the site of terror attacks – the latest occurring just Wednesday, when an Arab terrorist tried to stab two Israelis outside the town, who were stuck in traffic. The terrorist pulled out a knife and rushed Yehoshua Sherman, who pulled out a handgun and shot his attacker. The terrorist later died of his wounds in an Israeli hospital.

The new road will see the construction of a new spur that will bypass Hawara, similar to other bypass roads that have recently been built, including the Nebi Elias bypass road on the Shechem-Kfar Sava highway (route 55). Other projects on the government’s agenda are the construction of a bi-directional two-lane highway between Kfar Sava and the western Shomron town of Tzofim, the construction of an additional two lanes in each direction on the Gush Etzion-Yerushalayim road south of the Gush Etzion tunnels, and the construction of the Azzun bypass road, which will allow residents of western Shomron quick access to Road 6.

Dorani praised the decision, saying that driving along the current highway “is a security risk, and causes unnecessary traffic jams and pressure. We are very happy that the prime minister has approved the new highway. The Yesha Council is doing everything it can to advance the construction of new roads in Yehudah, Shomron and the Jordan Valley.”

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