After numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis traveling through Huwara, Israeli Transport, National Infrastructure and Road Safety Minister Miri Regev on Sunday inaugurated the main section of the road that bypasses the hostile Samaria town.
“The inauguration of the first and important section of the Huwara Bypass Road is an exciting closing of the circle for me. This life-saving road will provide the pioneers [in Samaria] with greater safety and security,” said Regev at the ceremony.
“The new section will allow residents to travel on the road safely, not through the hostile village where many attacks against Israelis have taken place, including in the recent period,” added the minister.
The new road offers Israelis traveling to and from central Samaria communities including Yitzhar, Elon Moreh, Itamar and Har Bracha a safer route instead of the one through Huwara.
Four Israelis have been killed in Huwara in 2023—brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv in February and father and son Shay Silas and Aviad Nir Nigrekar in August.
Dual Israeli-U.S. citizen David Stern, 41, narrowly survived a shooting on March 19 while he was driving through Huwara with his wife on their way to Jerusalem. Six days later, two Israeli soldiers were wounded in a drive-by shooting in the village.
On Oct. 4, a three-year-old Israeli girl was injured when Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli cars driving in Huwara. The next day, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at an Israeli family passing through the town, causing damage to their vehicle.
A public opinion poll conducted in early March showed that 71% of Palestinians supported the murder of the Yaniv brothers. Only 21% of those surveyed were against it and similar armed attacks.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan had been the main driving force behind the initiative to construct a bypass road and, together with families of terror victims, pushed the project for about six years.
In 2017, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government approved an 800 million shekel plan (around $220 million) to construct bypass roads throughout Judea and Samaria, including the Huwara Bypass Road between the Tapuach and Yitzhar Junctions.
Work on the road began approximately two years ago, with several delays in the beginning. The construction received a boost in the form of an additional 50 million shekels ($13.2 million) following the murder of the Yaniv brothers.