Palestinians banned from using Israeli buses in W. Bank

Arab-Israel Relations Materials 20 May 2015 14:10 (UTC +04:00)
Palestinians banned from using Israeli buses in W. Bank
Palestinians banned from using Israeli buses in W. Bank

Israeli authorities on Tuesday had decided to implement a ban on Palestinians from using Israeli-run buses in the occupied West Bank, according to local media.

Due to instructions from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Israeli Civil Administration had decided to ban Palestinian workers in Israel from using settlers' busses to return home in the West Bank.

Palestinians who work in Israel will need to return home without taking buses used by Jewish settlers of West Bank, Israeli radio said on Wednesday.

"The separation plan will be reviewed after three months," it added.

According to the broadcaster, the plan aims to reduce risk from Palestinian workers working in Israel.

Israeli opposition leader and MP Isaac Herzog criticized the decision, saying that this separation is "a satin in the face of Israel."

"This is another horrible decision from Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu that has nothing to do to the security of Israel and its citizens," he added.

According to the plan, Palestinians in northern West Bank who work inside Israel have to pass through the Eyal checkpoint near Qalqilya where they are subject to tight security screening upon entry and exit.

"Every day I have to spend at least three hours at Eyal checkpoint to go to my work at 7.30 a.m. ,"Salem Jarrar, 36, Told Anadolu Agency

"I usually use the Israeli busses to return to my home village near the West Bank city of Jenin," he said.

"Starting from today, I have to go back from the same checkpoint and spend another three hours in my way back instead of 30 minutes," he lamented.

"It was not easy to go back in a settlers' buss where you are subjected to different kinds of harassments and racism," he added. "But it was the easiest way to return to home after hard day's work."

The Israeli authorities has issued permits to nearly 150,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank to work inside Israel.

About 500,000 Israelis now live in more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinians want these areas, along with the Gaza Strip, to establish their future state.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories," considering all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.