Israeli occupation authorities have advanced plans for a new settler bypass road in the occupied West Bank, reported the Times of Israel.
According to the news site, the Defence Ministry “has granted approval for construction of a new road that will bypass the Palestinian town of Hawara in the northern West Bank”, a decision announced by settler umbrella organisation the Yesha Council.
“The road stretching from the Tapuah Junction to the Yitzhar Junction will run east of Route 60, the West Bank’s main, frequently congested north-south artery, and will shorten the commute for Israelis living in northern West Bank settlements,” said the Times of Israel.
The road “will be built on land originally belonging to the Palestinian villages of Hawara and Beita”, the report continued, land originally seized by the Israeli army “for security reasons”.
An Israeli government spokesperson “said the approval had been given last week”. The Yesha Council claimed the new bypass road “will reduce traffic jams in the area, enable a quiet and comfortable fabric of life for the two populations and will contribute to greater security and safety”.
“It was unclear when construction of the Hawara bypass highway will be completed, but a spokesman for the Yesha Council acknowledged that it could take years,” the Times of Israel added.
The news site noted that the road is part of a “broader plan” being pushed by settler leaders for more bypass roads throughout the occupied West Bank.