The Husan bypass road in the West Bank has become a dangerous road for Jewish Israeli drivers over the past year. However, the IDF is currently conducting an operation in the area that has yielded promising results so far. In the past month, not one stone-throwing incident was reported.
Archive Photo Credit: Eli Segal/Channel 2 News
Over the past year, the Husan bypass road has turned into a dangerous area for Jewish Israeli drivers as many of them have been injured by stones thrown by Palestinians. This dangerous reality prompted the residents of two Israeli towns in the area, Tzur Hadassah and Beitar Illit, to complain and even hold protests. However, the situation did not improve despite the IDF’s efforts.
About two months ago, however, Etzion Brigade Commander Colonel Roman Gofman decided to take a different course of action that took into account the unique characteristic of the Husan town area. In this part of the West Bank, the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli residents are greatly intertwined. For example, dozens of Israeli and Arab residents enter the local shopping center on a daily basis and conduct their routines side by side without any reports of problems or disputes.
The IDF’s special operation aimed at returning the peace to the Husan bypass road was carried out with the assistance of the Shin Bet and Israel Police. The Israeli security forces decided to stop granting the residents of Husan permits allowing them to work in Israel until the stone-throwing comes to an end. Dozens of Palestinians were arrested for disturbing the peace and an entire battalion was assigned to patrolling the dangerous road.
In addition, the military closed off some of the exits of the town so that the residents would have to travel on the same road as the Jewish drivers. The stone throwers were now faced with a dilemma because they could also harm the Palestinian residents. Eventually, IDF snipers and soldiers who specialize in surveillance were positioned near the road in order to spot stone throwers.
The IDF even distributed flyers in the town and posted updates on the Husan town Facebook page in order to explain to the residents the reasons behind the operation. In addition, Gofman met several times with the leaders of the town in order to explain to them the logic behind the operation. He also stressed that the situation will change when Palestinians stop targeting Jewish Israelis on the road.
The operation has been going on for about a month and promising updates have already been reported. Prior to the operation, dozens of stone-throwing incidents were reported a month but in the past month, not one incident was reported. However, the operation is still being conducted in order to ensure that the situation will remain calm. “If it [the situation] will remain like this, we will gradually decrease the operational activities,” explained IDF officials.