Monday, September 1, 2008

Kever Rochel Opened To Private Car Traffic

Bethlehem, Israel -- Israeli security authorities opened Kever Rochel to private car traffic Monday, after more than seven years in which only bulletproof buses were allowed to enter the fortified compound.

However, despite widespread requests, entrance on foot remains prohibited for the time being.

After a month-long trial period, the authorities will decide whether to extend the new arrangement.

The decision to open the compound was made jointly by the police and the Border Police, following a directive by Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. A number of groups and individuals lobbied for the new arrangement, including the Rachel's Tomb Heritage Fund, the Rachel Imeinu Foundation, the Holy Sites Director Yossi Shvinger, MKs Uri Ariel and Meir Porush, and officials from the Public Security Ministry, Israel Police and Border Police.

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