Highway No. 12, closed after a deadly terror attack in August 2011, was re-opened for traffic. The decision followed situation assessments and work to improve the security along the road, and was approved by GOC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Tal Russo.
During the months in which the road was closed for traffic, the IDF operated intensively in order to achieve the optimal conditions for re-opening the road.
Prior to the opening of the section of the highway for traffic, wide-scale work was carried out in order to strengthen the defense of the roads adjacent to the Israel – Egypt border. These defenses include the expedited construction of the “Hourglass” project, reinforcement of forces and observation means as well as additional defense measures fitted to face the current threats of terror attacks in the area.
The IDF operates constantly in order to preserve the routine of Israeli civilians while keeping them safe.
GOC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Tal Russo declared that from Sunday, February 26, 2012, traveling on Highway 12 in the section between the Sayarim Junction and the Netafim Border Crossing will be only permitted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Furthermore, travelling in the section of the road refers only to the road itself; getting of the road and traveling in the area between the road and the international border is still forbidden. Travelers and hikers will be allowed to travel off-road to the east of Highway 12 during daylight between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. only.
The order forbids any entry by foot or by traffic to the section of road specified above between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., however, special permits can be given by authorized personnel who is certified by the GOC Southern Command, to permit otherwise.
The restrictions do not apply to soldiers and police officers who are required to enter the area as part of fulfilling their duty.