Ministers barred from ‘dangerous’ Route 443

Ministers barred from ‘dangerous’ Route 443

Shin Bet deems major road, which passes through West Bank, unsafe due to recent spike in violent incidents

Route 443 (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Route 443 (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Government ministers have been forbidden from traveling between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on the popular Route 443 due to security concerns.

The Shin Bet’s Protective Security Department, which is charged with guarding Israeli dignitaries, issued the directive on Tuesday. Unnamed government officials told Yedioth Ahronoth that the road had recently become “very dangerous.”

The highway, sections of which pass through West Bank territory, has recently seen an increase in violent events. These included rock-throwing incidents, Molotov cocktail attacks and an improvised explosive device planted on the road — all since the beginning of the year.

An unnamed minister was quoted as saying that there were also heightened alerts of planned shooting attacks against Israeli vehicles on the road.

Route 443 is a major artery of transportation between Jerusalem and central Israel and is the only viable alternative to Route 1, which is prone to congestion and blockages, particularly during rush hour.

Despite the new ban for ministers, no similar prohibition has been issued to the general population.

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