Jewish women residing in the West Bank, including some who have lost family members to terrorism, wrote a scathing appeal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot Friday, in the wake of the shooting attack that claimed the life of Raziel Shevah of Havat Gilad.
In the letter, the women demanded that the IDF's deterrence be restored, safety returned to the region's roads—echoing their appeal from a Likud party meeting they attended last week—and checkpoints reinstated in exits from Palestinian cities.
Some of the letter's signees include Adva Biton, whose daughter Adele died following complications from injuries sustained in a terror attack, Ta'ama (Henkin) Yaacoson, the sister of Eitam Henkin, and Leah Gavish, the daughter of Rachel and David Gavish and sister of Abraham Gavish, murdered in their Elon Moreh home.
"We write this letter to you so steeped in pain, as mothers residing in the West Bank," the women wrote. "Our minds are always on the next terror attack. Tensions in the air are palpable and it feels like a ticking time bomb to us!"
"It has only been a few days since the monstrous attack that left a family dismantled, a widow with six orphans. The killers are still on the loose, but we can be said to have returned to our routine," the letter continued.
"When did we become so indifferent? Why are Nablus and Ramallah so wide open and it's so incomprehensibly easy to get in and out of them? Why are there no checkpoints? Why are villages not encircled after such a heinous attack? Their lives are carrying on normally and they're happy and smiling, with the next attack being just a matter of time!
"Terror attacks and murders are not ordained by fate. They may be prevented. The enemy may be beaten, but it's plain to see that to defend residents the army needs free rein. It is capable of creating much stronger deterrence than it is allowed to today. But it seems someone preferred maintaining Arabs' normal routines than preserving Jews' lives."
The letter was the initiative of Batya Lasser of Elon Moreh. "Within hours I was inundated by phone calls from women who were as passionate about this as I was and joined in. word then spread like wildfire in all of Judea and Samaria. Everyone wants to join in on this clarion call for security," she explained.
Dr. Adva Biton, whose daughter Adele passed two years after being wounded in a stone throwing attack, said, "I do not presume to be a national security advisor, but we must act firmly against our enemies. As a bereaved mother, who experienced the greatest of pains, I implore: no more. A people desiring to survive, who believe in the sanctity of life, must treat war as war."
Nabi Ilyas bypass road opensPart of the women's appeal was for increased security on roads, and perhaps not coincidentally a new section of Route 55 was opened to traffic Friday, bypassing the Palestinian village of Nabi Ilyas.
The cost of the bypass road's construction was NIS 60 million, with settlers receiving a further allocation of NIS 600 million from Prime Minister Netanyahu for paving similar bypass roads elsewhere in the West Bank.
The five-kilometer-long Nabi Ilyas road is the first bypass road paved in the West Bank in many years. Another bypass road currently being paved bypasses Huwara, Al-Arroub and Kalandia, allowing settlers a safer, more convenient drive to Israel's center, but will also be used by the area's Palestinians.
Before the Nabi Ilyas bypass was inaugurated, Israeli drivers were forced to drive through the village itself, which has become a hotspot for stone and Molotov cocktail throwing—a fact that scared many drivers away from passing through there. Lighting infrastructures were also erected along the road.
The road's paving is one aspect of the agreement reached between the prime minister and head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, after the latter put up a protest tent after the attack that claimed the life of the Henkin family two years ago.
"At least we received one moment of joy, in a week bringing such tragic tidings," Dagan said.