Route 443 (Israel)

Route 443 (Israel)

Infobox Israel highway

highway= 443
hebrew= מעלה בית חורון ("Ma'ale Beit Horon")
Ascent of Bethoron
direction=West - East
start=Lod (Ginaton Junction)
*Modi'in Illit
*Giv'at Ze'ev
end=Highway 45/Begin Expressway to Jerusalem
*Ginaton Junction
*Ben Shemen Interchange
*Shilat Junction
*Beit Horon Interchange
*Giv'at Ze'ev Junction

Route 443 ( _he. כביש 443, מעלה בית חורון), also "Ma'ale Beit Horon" (ascent of Beth-Horon), is the main highway connecting Modi'in with Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and also serves as a secondary connection between the Tel Aviv area and Jerusalem. While technically listed as a regional road, it is for the most part a divided, four-lane highway which utilises some grade separation and interchanges, as well as major at-grade intersections, and thus is not classified as a motorway, even though there is a short motorway section on its western end, connecting it to westbound Highway 1.

The highway departs Highway 1 and Highway 6 at Ben Shemen interchange, and continues eastwards to Shilat junction, which serves as the entrance for the Modi'in area. It continues east into the West Bank in the Matte Binyamin Regional Council, near Ramallah, where it becomes Jerusalem's Begin Expressway via the newly designated Highway 45. A spur, road 436, links it with Giv'at Ze'ev and the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramot.

Some of the access roads connecting Palestinian villages with Route 443 in the West Bank portion have been closed since the September 2000 outbreak of the Second Intifada. [ [ The law as roadkill on Highway 443] , Haaretz, September 26, 2006.] Frequent fire bomb attacks and fatal shootings on Israeli traffic saw the erection of anti-sniper barricades on parts of the highway adjacent to Palestinian populated areas. [ [ 4 Israelis wounded in drive-by shooting] ] [ [ Israeli driver killed in ambush near Givat Ze'ev] ] [ [ Couple shot dead in ambush, children lightly hurt] ] [ [ Two murdered in terror attacks] ] In a March 2008 ruling, the Israel's Supreme Court upheld for six more months the IDF's right to limit Palestinian traffic to prevent attacks, challenged by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. [ [ Barring Palestinians from Highway 443 prevents attacks on Israel, court hints] , March 4, 2008, Jerusalem Post] [ [ A road becomes a dividing line in the West Bank] , by Ethan Bronner, March 26, 2008, International Herald Tribune] The Israeli Human Rights Group B'Tselem has also criticized the closure of route 443 for Palestinians as an example of Collective punishment, which is illegal under International law. As of October 2008, the case is still pending. [ [ Route 443: West Bank road for Israelis only] B'Tselem]

The road was the site of many battles in antiquity due to its unique geography, most famously part of the biblical story of Joshua, and the combat between the Macabees and the Seleucid Empire. As opposed to the modern Highway 1, which twists and turns in gullies on its route from the coastal plain to the Judean hills, the central portion of Highway 443 ascends along a ridgeline, and thus maintains a relatively stable grade.

Interchanges & junctions (West to East)


"External reference links:"
* [ Ancient path (map)]
* [ Jewish Universe] travel guide
* [ Tyranny in Tar] (political op ed)
* [ "Israeli High Court Petition on Route 443—Provides Approval for Separation and Discrimination" (20 March 2008 at the "Alternative Information Center Palestine/Israel")] (political commentary)
* [ Route 443: West Bank road for Israelis only] (B'Tselem Human Rights Report)

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