YnetNews By: Oded Shalom

 

Over the past few weeks, the Gush Etzion junction has turned from a thriving commercial center into a repeated target for terror attacks. Nearly all of the business owners have witnessed at least one. But still, they struggle to maintain coexistence in the area.

 

From Baruch Nahum’s lottery stand, the Gush Etzion junction looks like a secure military base with police vehicles slowly crossing it. Tall iron fences run along the length of the road, behind the hitchhiking stations with civilians standing at them. The fences were introduced two weeks ago, after two terrorists arrived at the junction on foot and tried to stab soldiers. Now it’s impossible to enter the junction just like that – instead, one must go through specific points that are supervised by soldiers.

 

The front of the hitchhiking station is separated from the road by concrete barriers. The barriers were also brought here after an attempted attack, this time vehicular. When we went there on Tuesday this week we counted four soldiers at each hitchhiking station – and one on every side of the junction. Their heads were helmeted, they wore bullet-proof vests and had weapons with the cartridges loaded, their fingers on the trigger, each one watching the back of another.

 

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