Route 443 serves Israeli commuters traveling between the two largest cities in Israel – Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The road runs through the West Bank, but Palestinians are strictly prohibited from using it. In the past, Route 443 was the main thoroughfare serving the southern Ramallah district. In 1988, Israel expropriated land from Palestinian villagers living along the road in order to widen it, claiming that the road would serve their villages as well. However in 2002, the army prohibited Palestinian traffic on the road, stating 'security reasons'.