Police presence along Highway 443 and the surrounding area has been heightened, after a special assessment of the security situation there between top-ranking officers of the IDF, Israel Police, and Border Police.
Earlier this month, a 26 year-old Israeli man was injured after an Arab terrorist stabbed him at a gas station along the highway, in Beit Horon.
To counter the growing terror threat along the highway – which integrates Israeli and Palestinian drivers despite being in a critical area of Israel, between Modi'in and Jerusalem – the police have decided to deploy Special Forces, a security source revealed to Walla! News.
"[The decision] is already bearing operational fruit," he said.
Local residents along Route 443 have expressed concerns on a daily basis about their safety, the source added, and many motorists have chosen to take the nearby Route 1 highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem instead to avoid security risks. This, despite frequent traffic jams and renovation work on Route 1.
According to a security source, along with the effort to prevent terrorism, security forces must take into account other factors that may affect forces in the field. Among them: the dense Palestinian Arab population living in the area.
"On the one hand we want to eradicate terrorism, but on the other hand we have no intention to make everyone in the area of Route 443 the enemy," the source said. "Therefore, we must work smarter and become more focused, and prevent incidents before they erupt."
An IDF spokesperson confirmed the report, and added that observation balloons had been set up at strategic points.
"The IDF is investing considerable effort and resources to eradicate terrorists and attacks along Route 443, which is vital and strategic for Israel," it said. "In recent months, depending on the situation, significant reinforcements were brought in along the road."