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Israeli court rejects Arabs' appeal to stop freeway

March 21, 2013|By Edmund Sanders

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal by Arab residents of Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighborhood to halt construction of a freeway extension through their community.

The court ruled that there was no urgent need to stop the project, but that the residents’ ongoing legal appeal in a lower court should proceed without delay. A Jerusalem court previously ruled that residents were too late to stop the freeway, which was approved by the city in 1990.

Residents say the two-mile extension of Begin Expressway will dissect their neighborhood and cut off access to stores, mosques and schools. They want the city to put the road underground but officials say the cost and time of a tunnel would be too great.

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