Israel News

Gush Etzion Junction: From Terrorist Hotspot to High Class Mall

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of a three-story, 5,000-meter shopping mall at the Gush Etzion junction, an area that has been a hot spot for terrorist attacks during the last year
 
Politicians Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud), Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan (Bayit Yehudi), and MK Nurit Koren (Likud) were present at the dedication.
 
“I hope the mall will be a symbol of co-existence based on economic peace,” Koren said, but then added, “The opening of this mall sends an unequivocal message to our enemies that you won’t break us.”
 
The mall opened with 15 shops, including a clothing outlet, a cafe and a home goods retailer from the well-known FOX chain. Already on the first day, hijab-clothed Arab women and scarf-clad Jewish women were walking through the mall.
 
Many of the Jews breathed relief that they had quality shopping within a short distance of their homes, instead of having to travel to Jerusalem for their every need. Didy Freedman of the Elazar settlement went for a night out with his wife in the Greg Cafe, pleased to be saved the longer trip to the Malcha Mall in south Jerusalem.
 
Mohammed Alana from their nearby hometown of Beit Umar, said, “It took us only five minutes to get here,” while shopping with Odai, his 12-year-old son, for back-to-school clothes at FOX. The alternative would have required getting a permit to enter Israel and a several hour trip.
 
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl recalled that when Gush Etizion was first built, a passing car was a rare event and most of them time the settlers rode on Palestinian buses. Now he is pleased when Gush Etzion residents call him to complain about traffic jams and other traffic problems that plague the rest of the country.
 
 
 
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