Gush Etzion Junction
Gush Etzion Junction ("Tzomet HaGush") also known as Gush Junction is a 120-dunam (0.12 km2; 0.046 sq mi) business, commercial and tourism center in the southern West Bank, which serves as the entry point to the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements. It is administered by the Gush Etzion Regional Council. The hitchhiking post at the junction has frequently been the site of attacks by Palestinians against Israeli citizens.
Gush Etzion Junction is located in the northern Judean Hills at about 950 m above sea level. The junction is a 25-meter (82 ft) diameter roundabout (traffic circle) at the intersection of Route 60 and Route 367. Nearby communities include Efrat, Elazar, Alon Shvut, Kfar Etzion, Migdal Oz and Beit Fajjar. It is a 15-minute drive to the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and approximately 70 minutes' drive to Tel Aviv.
On the southwest are a gas station, an automotive repair shop, an electronics store, a Judaica center and a Rami Levy discount supermarket. Attached to the supermarket is a hamburger joint, a pizzeria and a discount clothing store, all part of the Rami Levi group. Furthermore, Rami Levi has begun construction of a two-story shopping mall as an extension to the south side of the supermarket and above it.
The hitchhiking post at the junction has frequently been the site of attacks by Palestinians against Israeli citizens. These include:
- October 2005: Three killed, three injured in a shooting attack at the junction.
- January 2006: A Palestinian man stabs an Israeli man and girl; the attacker is shot and injured by an off-duty police officer.
- March 2006: A Palestinian man who arouses suspicion at the hitchhikers' post is found to be armed with a knife and arrested.
- December 2009: A woman is stabbed in the back by a Palestinian man.
- November 2010: A Palestinian man attempts to stab Israeli civilians at the junction and is arrested by the IDF.
- January 2011: Shots are fired in the area; there are no injuries.
- October 2015: A Palestinian man tried to ram into Israelis waiting at a bus stop but hit the concrete blocks placed there to stop such attacks. A 20-year-old IDF soldier and a 21-year-old Israeli civilian were lightly wounded. He exited his car with a knife drawn and tried to stab his victims and was shot and killed.
- 2015 Gush Etzion Junction shooting
- November 2015: A Palestinian man stabbed and killed a 21-year-old student Hadar Buchris. He was shot and killed by security forces at the scene.
In response, the government is planning bypass roads to separate Israeli vehicles from Palestinian vehicles at this junction.
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- "IDF soldier stabbed in fourth attack of the day". Ynetnews. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Hadar Buchris, 21, murdered at Etzion junction, to be laid to rest". Timesofisrael. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Rudoren, Jody (23 November 2015). "Benjamin Netanyahu Plans Separate Bypass Roads for Israelis in Parts of West Bank". New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2015.