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Despite Terror, Life ​at the Gush Etzion Junction Continues As Usual

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By Anav Silverman
Tazpit News Agency

It is the third day since the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens by
Palestinian terrorists at the Gush Etzion junction in Judea. Standing at
the site where the boys were reportedly last seen, IDF soldiers and Israeli
civilians, adults and schoolchildren, continue on with the day, but not
without thoughts of the tragic abduction.

“We are shocked by this,” said Moriah Casspi, 30, from nearby Bat Ayin to
Tazpit News Agency, as she was waiting for her bus on Sunday. “The
kidnapping is always on my mind; I find myself crying all the time. I can’t
even imagine what the parents are going through.”

“For us, it is a horrible situation. Our kids and families are used to
walking around that area without any hesitation. Now we feel that it is not
secure enough,” said the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Davidi
Pearl to Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview.

“It’s especially scary for the kids but we have to continue our life as
usual with a regular routine; to go to school and to work.”

Pearl, who has been living in Gush Etzion for 44 years and is a resident of
Alon Shvut, said that while the kidnapping was not surprising, the location
of where it took place was unexpected. “We knew that someday this could
happen but we were surprised that it happened here, it what appears to be a
secure area.”

The Gush Etzion junction, also known as Tzomet HaGush in Hebrew, serves as
the entry point to the Gush Etzion bloc of communities as well as the
business and commercial shopping center in Judea. Located two miles south
of Efrat, and a 15-minute drive to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, the
site has been frequently targeted by Palestinian terrorists.

“We have to fight against this terror and we have to say that the State of
Israel is here to stay,” said Davidi.

Located in the Judean Mountains, public transportation to and from Gush
Etzion, where more than 70,000 Israelis live, is limited. Many residents
rely on hitchhiking to get to their homes.

Alana Bandos, a Wisconsin native studying in Jerusalem for the year, told
Tazpit that although she has been scared to use the Gush Etzion junction
for transportation, she will not let the terrorists stop her. “My aunt and
uncle live in Efrat and I visit them frequently. I don’t believe in giving
in to terrorists which is part of why I’m here today, waiting to catch a
bus back to Jerusalem,” she said.

Video: Hillel Meir, Tazpit News Agency

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  • Published: 9 years ago on June 16, 2014
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  • Last Modified: June 16, 2014 @ 1:30 pm
  • Filed Under: Israel

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