Ya’alon bans Palestinians from I$raHell-run bus lines in West Bank, following settler pressure


Settlers have tried on multiple occasions to prevent Palestinian workers from commuting on these buses, and have released avideo calling for them to be banned.

By Chaim Levinson

Following intense pressure from settlers, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has issued a directive that bans Palestinian workers from traveling on Israeli-run public transportation in the West Bank.

The decision contradicts the stance of the Israel Defense Forces, which does not view the presence of Palestinians on West Bank buses as a security threat. The new guidelines prohibit Palestinian workers from using buses that run directly from central Israel to the West Bank; instead they will have to arrive at the Eyal Crossing, near Qalqilyah and far from populated settler areas, and continue to their final destination from there.

The Samaria Settlers’ Committee and local Jewish authorities have conducted an aggressive campaign in recent years aimed at banning Palestinian workers from public transportation used by Israelis in the West Bank.

Currently, Palestinian laborers who work in central Israel can enter only through the Eyal Crossing, where they undergo security checks and swipe a biometric I.D. card before continuing to their workplace.

The workers are not allowed to sleep in Israel, however they can return to the West Bank through various crossings. Hundreds of Palestinians who live in the central West Bank prefer to return on buses that run from Tel Aviv or Petah Tikva along the “trans-Samaria” road through the
settlement of Ariel and on to their villages.

The settlers have tried on multiple occasions to prevent the Palestinians from commuting on those buses, and have released a video calling for them to be banned.

Ya’alon recently met with settler leaders and told them he has decided to change the current policy so that Palestinian laborers will have to return to the West Bank only through the Eyal Crossing.
The directive is scheduled to go into effect next month. Until then, the Civil Administration has been instructed to prepare for the change by informing Palestinian workers and of

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