Netanyahu cancels bus segregation of Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspends bus segregation proposal

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s proposal to ban Palestinians from riding on the same buses with Israeli settlers was suspended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuters reported.

The order of suspension comes just a few hours after the proposal offered by Yaalon, claiming “segregation would allow better control of Palestinians and reduce security risks."

"The proposal is unacceptable to the prime minister. He spoke with the defence minister this morning and it was decided that the proposal will be frozen," an official in Netanyahu's office told AFP news agency.

Palestinians who pass from the West Bank to Israel to work were supposed to take different buses from Jewish settlers as of Wednesday.

"Under a three-month pilot project, Palestinians who work in Israel will, starting Wednesday, need to return home by the same crossings without taking buses used by Israeli residents of the occupied West Bank,” a defence ministry official had said.

Palestinian workers travel to Israel by bus to work mainly in the construction sector and they use travel permits each time they pass.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper also reported about the programme that was expected to be implemented by the Civil Administration.

The move was criticised by some Israeli opposition leaders.

"The separation between Palestinians and Jews on public transportation is an unnecessary humiliation and a stain on the face of the country and its citizens," opposition leader Isaac Herzog wrote on his Facebook page.

Zehava Galon, leader of the dovish Meretz party, went further, saying "this is how Apartheid looks."

TRTWorld and agencies