***IMPORTANT*** THE IDF HOME FRONT COMMAND HAS ISSUED AN ALERT AT 12:33 PM FRIDAY FOR ALL RESIDENTS OF ISRAELI COMMUNITIES NEAR GAZA TO REMAIN CLOSE TO A BOMB SHELTER.
UPDATE 10 am Israel time Friday:
Last night was just another typical night in Israel with Israeli motorists being stoned by Palestinian terrorists in Judea, and the attempted murder of southern Israeli men, women, and children by a missile fired from Palestinian Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Just another typical night . . .
Negohot resident have had enough. They have grown tired of being targeted by their Palestinian neighbors from the Palestinian settlements of Beit Awa and Dura. Last night they took matters into their own hands.
But first, a little background.
Negohot is located in the western part of the southern Hevron (Hebron) Hills of Judea on a 700 meter hill that separates the Arab settlements to the west from Mt. Hevron to the east.
Because of its strategic location, the Jewish community began as a Nahal military base in 1982, but ironically, the community did not begin to grow until 1998 when the IDF decided to begin closing the base.
While the closure was taking place, the Nahal hesder (yeshiva) soldiers on duty at Negohot volunteered to renovate the area and in the process built several houses and a beit midrash (Torah study house). By the time the base closed, some of the soldiers had completed their service and had decided to live there.
Established as a religious community and determined to live in peace with its neighbors, the community of Negohot decided early on (remarkably, given the horrific Palestinian terrorist attacks that were taking place around them between 1998 and 2003) that it would not build a security fence around the community’s perimeter–preferring instead to maintain “openness” with the Palestinian settlers living in the area.
That all changed in March of 2003 when two Palestinian suicide bombers were shot to death trying to enter Negohot. Shortly thereafter, the community reluctantly agreed to set up an electric security fence. Unfortunately, one sector of that fence had not yet been completed as of six months later.
On the night of Rosh Hashana, September 25, 2003, a member of Islamic Jihad from the nearby Palestinian settlement of Dura armed with an M-16 and two hand grenades–who had just been released from prison after serving a 14 month term for security related offenses—knocked on the door of a home in the community as the family and their guests were eating their holiday dinner.
When one of the guests, Eyal Yeverbaum, answered the door as a sign of hospitality, he was immediately shot to death as was a seven month old girl, Shaked Avraham. As the men at the table returned fire, the terrorist ran away shooting at every house in the community, and was quickly killed by IDF reservists who arrived on the scene. Since the Palestinian attacks of March and September 2003, the situation in the area has greatly deteriorated.
Yet today Negohot has a thriving population of some 35 families with over 225 people. Most of the adult residents work in Jerusalem (10 minutes away), Kiryat Gat (25 minutes), and Beit Shemesh (35 minutes). They travel in their cars to and from Negohot on Route 35 via Moshav Shekef.
And therein lies the problem.
Following numerous terrorist attacks such as those described above in the early 2000s, Route 35 and one of its main access roads, Route 443, were closed to all PLO/PA Arab traffic. However, in response to numerous lawsuits brought by left-wing NGOs such as B’Tselem and Shalom Akhshav (Peace Now), the Israel Supreme Court in its infinite wisdom–citing Palestinian incovenience–ordered the roads opened to Palestinian traffic in 2009.
And how have the peaceful Palestinians reacted to the reopening of the roads? Not so much by actually driving on the roads to access other Palestinian settlements as by driving on the roads to attack Israeli motorists who are driving on them. Everyday there are Palestinian assaults of “rock-throwing”, oil smearing (to make cars slide on curves), and putting items on the roads to tear up tires and cause crashes—and the IDF does little to stop these assaults and ensure the safety of Israeli drivers.
So last night, dozens of Negovot community members took matters into their own hands–not violently–but in a march down the road to Awa–two kilometers west of Negohot. Once there, they blocked the road and their spokesman, Farid Assaf, telephoned the media with this statement:
“We are at Awa, two kilometers west of Negohot and blocking the road to the Arabs because of the recent deterioration of the security situation. We suffer from nails being placed on the road and stones and Molotov cocktails being thrown at the vehicles of our residents. We must remember that the roads were closed here to Palestinians until three years ago, when the Court decided at the expense of our security, to open the roads to Palestinians everywhere. We demand the Army reclose the roads to Palestinians.”
Given the fact that there have already been a number of cases of Israeli motorists being killed by “rock” throwing Palestinian terrorists, your humble servant finds it unfathomable that roads such as 35 and 441 remain open to Palestinian traffic. It is high time to reverse the politically correct decision of the Supreme Court and to protect Jewish lives in Judea and Samaria.
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