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Ministry of Transport to run segregated buses

Ministry of Transport to run segregated buses

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Published by Ronnie Barkan

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Published by: Ronnie Barkan on Nov 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The drivers refused to allow Palestiniansfrom boarding their buses (Photo: Nimrod Saunders)
Expected: a separate bus system will be established for Palestinians
By: Joshua Breiner, Walla! NewsMonday, November 26, 2012, 1:30
The buses are expected to leave during noon hours from the central cities to theIDF checkpoints in Samaria and then to the West Bank. Recently there was anincrease in complaints by Israelis about clashes with Palestinian passengers."This is not segregation"
[Video link: A driver taking down a Palestinian passenger from the bus]An adequate solution or racial segregation? The Ministry of Transport is expected torun buses which are meant, inter alia, for transporting Palestinians from the centerarea to the checkpoints in Samaria, following complaints about their use of publictransportation. As mentioned, last year saw an increase in complaints by Israelis whouse the public transportation going from Hasharon and Tel Aviv areas to Samaria,about Palestinian workers who are working in Israel and board these buses, therebycreating not only a lack of seating space but also arise confrontations with Israelipassengers. Walla News had previously published the new phenomenon among"Afikim" transport company where bus drivers refused to allow Palestinians boardtheir buses.As part of the problem, Israeli passengersclaim that the Palestinians have alsosexually harassed female passengers, aswell as being forbidden by law to usepublic transportation without firstundergoing a security check at an IDFcheckpoint. The issue was raised again inrecent days following the attack on a busin Tel Aviv, where settler representativesargued that the fact that Palestinians usethese transport lines without properinspection is a serious security issue.Walla News has learned that last week representatives of the Ministry of Transport with representatives of "Afikim" which isrunning the bus from Samaria and along with the police and IDF representatives havebeen working to find a solution.
In practice it seems that the buses would solve theproblem
"This is not segregation"
According to the plan, new bus lines will be allocatedto leave from the center area and will be intendedmainly for Palestinian workers who are working inIsrael. The Palestinians will board these lines whoseterminal stop will be at IDF checkpoints in Samaria,where they will undergo proper security checks,without carrying on into the West Bank area. The buslines will leave at noon and the afternoon whenPalestinian workers finish their work, so as to avoidan overload of the two populations on buses, as ishappening today.By implementing this solution the Palestinians will not be able to use the regular buslines continuing to the Samaria settlements such as Ariel, as they will enter the WestBank without inspection. Also today Palestinians are taken off the buses making theirway from the West Bank to the center of the country and pass inspection at the IDFcheckpoints, but the main problem is on the way back. It seems like the buses wouldsolve this problem but in practice it would mean establishing a bus system that isdesigned especially for Palestinians, as Israelis could use it within Israeli territory butmost of the passengers would be Arabs. Especially since no Israeli wishes to arriveonly up to the checkpoint.The Mayor of Karnei Shomron, Herzl Ben-Ari, whose residents have long beencomplaining about the buses being overcrowded and about the fear of riding togetherwith the Palestinians, has welcomed the solution. "I am pleased that a completesolution for all the needs had been given, both for the Palestinian workers who simplywant to earn a decent living and go back to their homes as well as to the residents of settlements in Samaria who wish to also return home from work safely and securely,without the fear of attacks on buses as has unfortunately happened in the past," saidBen-Ari and stressed: "The claim that this is a form of racist segregation is patentlyfalse. The expected response will allow for both our residents and for Palestinians totravel on public transport without the bus arriving at the station completely full wherepeople are unable to board the bus and having to wait at the station instead."
"The line will save the Palestinians from switching buses"
The Judea & Samaria district police says that "it is known that for a long while wereceive complaints from residents and municipal leaders about workers returning fromtheir work in the center and boarding the regular bus lines, going back withoutundergoing a security check while the buses are packed. Indeed, the issue had beenexamined and it is necessary to reinforce the bus lines due to the amount of passengers as well as the fact that Palestinian workers return home after work in anillegal manner (not through a proper crossing) so it was decided to add these bus linesat the crossings for the welfare of the workers to return home in a more orderlymanner."

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