Israel’s Communications Ministry held a ceremony on Monday inaugurating a cellular antenna at the Amos Junction between Efrat and Tekoa in Gush Etzion.
The antenna will significantly upgrade cellular reception at the Amos Junction as well as rapid-response times that will save lives in cases of road accidents or terrorist attacks, the ministry said in a statement.
Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said, “After years in which residents of Judea and Samaria traveled on roads without cellular reception and at risk to human life, we begin today, as I promised when I entered office, to fix and improve the cellular reception coverage on traffic routes and settlements in Judea and Samaria.
“Cellular communication is an essential infrastructure and its reliability affects human lives. With God’s help, together with the heads of the councils in Judea and Samaria and in cooperation with cellular companies, we will fulfill what is written in the book of Amos: ‘On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old,’” he said.
Karhi has made it a priority to improve the communications network in Judea and Samaria, underscoring its importance in establishing Israeli control in the region.
In a ministry statement on April 16, he said that “the establishment of new cellular antenna sites and the solution to the reception problem will bolster the Jewish settlement agenda in Judea and Samaria and establish another pillar of Israeli sovereignty in the field.”
Gush Etzion Regional Council Chairman Shlomo Ne’eman said, “We talk a lot about security around the issue of cellular reception, which is important, but in fact we are talking about daily life, the infrastructure that determines daily life. Roads, communications, gas—all the infrastructure that exists in a developed country isn’t found in Judea and Samaria. It’s not even a developing country, it is a Third World country.
“I want to thank Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi for this important step, which is a milestone towards significant communication deployment in Gush Etzion and Judea and Samaria.
“You need to double, triple and quadruple the infrastructure. You know how to do it and you are called on to do it. We expect you to have no free time in your schedule due to all the antenna and communications center ceremonies,” Ne’eman said.
Also present at the ceremony was Communications Ministry director-general Moni Shmila, Knesset member Simcha Rothman, Gush Etzion Council deputy head Yitzhak Fried and PHI (Partner and Hot Mobile) Company CEO Eyal Illouz.