Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Israel Katz inaugurated a new road on Tuesday that connects illegal settlements east of the occupied West Bank city of Qalqiliya, Israeli media reported. The road, which was given the name of Nabi Elias, is for use by Jews only.
“We place a special emphasis on advancing the planning and execution of strategic transportation projects in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank],” said Katz. He noted that this road is part of the current Israeli government’s efforts to promote transportation between settlements as well as the security and safety of Jewish settlers. He omitted the fact that the settlers and their settlements are illegal under international law.
“This road,” explained Netanyahu, “is part of the system of bypass roads that we are building throughout Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] that serves the residents [settlers] of Judea and Samaria and the residents of the entire State of Israel.”
Quds Press reported Katz saying that paving the news bypass roads includes the expansion and reorganisation of existing roads, and building tunnels to make connections with Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem easier.
The inauguration of this road came weeks after a pledge by Netanyahu to allocate NIS800m ($228m) for a security package as part of the 2018 budget. It will be used for settlement roads and infrastructure development. His move followed mass protests by Jewish settlers and their leaders, and confirms Israel’s status as a settler-colonial state.