Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Terrorism charges brought against rock-hurling, firebomb-throwing gang on Jerusalem's northern fringe

...The threat posed by determined, ideologically committed hurlers of rocks and shooters of bullets against ordinary folk traveling the roads in their cars and buses is consistently diminished - to their great shame - by Israel's enemies in the media and in political life.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 February '14...

If you're familiar with our nation's capital city, you'll be aware that there are two main intercity roads that connect Jerusalem with the coastal plain and the Tel Aviv region. One is Highway One, now under major reconstruction and expansion, and by far the busier of the two alternatives. And the other: Route 443 that winds its way out of Jerusalem through the Judaean Hills, past Machane Ofer prison, the new urban zone constituted by burgeoning communities of Modi'in and Hashmonaim/Kiryat Sefer, and meeting Route One just south of the international airport.

For 25 years, Route 443 has been the road we traveled more than any other leaving from and returning to home, but not entirely without incident. About ten years ago, our car was hit by a well-aimed rock hurled by a Palestinian Arab man perched on one of the hills near one of the two Bet Ur villages (Bet Ur El Fuqa, Bet Ur El Tahta), with minimal damage to the body thanks to some last-second evasive action. Mostly, thank Heavens, it's been clear sailing.

Lately though, the state of safety on this important artery has noticeably deteriorated. A report less than a week ago ["The road to Jerusalem that’s off limits to Israel’s leaders", Times of Israel, February 19, 2014] included some candid comments from an IDF officer charged with securing the area, and pointing out how easily lives can be endangered:


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