Palestinian Authority building illegal city south of Jerusalem, Gush Etzion leader warns

PA paves unauthorized road through nature reserve in Gush Etzion area – in violation of Oslo Accords – for project aimed at cutting Judean Desert off from Israeli towns.

By World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Authority is paving an unauthorized road through a nature reserve south of Jerusalem in violation of the Oslo Accords, in a move local Jewish leaders warn is a preliminary step towards the establishment of an illegal city to cut off a large portion of Judea from the rest of Israel.

The road is currently under construction in the Judean Desert, cutting through the Hascamit Nature Reserve north of Herodian.

A sign boasts of the foreign funding used to pave the road.

“The new paved road was built in an area of the Hascamit Nature Reserve, which under the Oslo Accords was supposed to remain untouched, without roads or homes. But those promises versus the reality on the ground paint a different picture. There are both illegal roads and homes in the area. That road must be destroyed,” the Gush Etzion Regional Council said in a statement Tuesday.

Gush Etzion Regional Council chief Shlomo Ne’eman, in whose district the illegal road is being paved, warned that the Palestinian Authority’s blatant violation of the Oslo Accords highlights the lack of Israeli control over the area.

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Ne’eman, who visited the area where the road is being built Tuesday, added that the PA appears to be laying the groundwork for an entire city – built illegally – which would cut off Gush Etzion from the Judean Desert.

“This is what lawlessness looks like,” Ne’eman said. “Welcome to the Oslo Accords! Welcome to the Hascamit Nature Reserve. The purpose of a nature reserve is to do just that – preserve nature. According to the agreements, nothing is to be built here; it is to remain an untouched barren desert.”

“But what is the reality we are seeing here?” he continued. “We see the establishment of an Arab town in every way shape or form, with infrastructure, water sources, roads, pouring of concrete, trucks, everything. This all must stop.

“We expect the new government from the Defense Minister [Gallant] to the Minister within the Defense Ministry [Smotrich] to get involved and establish order in our country,” he demanded.