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September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Bus Attacked Near Efrat Tunnels

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

A bus was attacked by Arab stone throwers on Sunday afternoon near the Beitar (el Hadr) Junction on Route 60, just north of Efrat.

On Friday, residents of Efrat protested the escalating terrorist attacks on the roads, and in that section of the road in particular.

Arab Stone Throwers Injure Jerusalem Bus Passenger

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At around 10 PM, Egged bus #59 was hit by Arab stone throwers as it drove through French Hill, in the northern part of Jerusalem. One passenger was taken to Hadassah Har HaTzofim hospital, after being injured in the head with a stone.

The Media and the ‘Palestinian Only’ Bus Lines

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

There seems to be no evidence whatsoever to back up accusations, in the Guardian and throughout the media, that new bus lines in Israel, serving Palestinians who live in the West Bank but work in central Israel, serve ‘Palestinians only.’

Prior to the launch of the new lines Israeli buses did not stop in towns controlled by the P.A., and Palestinians were dependent on transportation services by “pirate” (Arab) companies. (Alternately they could travel to an Israeli settlement, such as Ariel, and take a bus from there to Israeli cities across the green line).

Conal Urquhart’s Guardian report on the issue, which, in fairness, is no worse than others in the mainstream media, was titled “Israel to launch ‘Palestinian only’ bus service,” March 4, and begins:

The Israeli government will on Monday begin operating a “Palestinians-only” bus service to ferry Palestinian workers from the West Bank to Israel, encouraging them to use it instead of travelling with Israeli settlers on a similar route.

However, at no point does Urquhart attempt to buttress this sensational claim, nor indicate the source of the (“Palestinians only”) quote.

In fact, he then notes the following:

Officially anyone can use them, but the ministry of transport said that the new lines are meant to improve services for Palestinians.

In a statement to the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, the ministry said: “The new lines are not separate lines for Palestinians but rather two designated lines meant to improve the services offered to Palestinian workers who enter Israel through Eyal Crossing.

As Lori Lowenthal Marcus of the Jewish Press pointed out, the “restrictions” pertain to “only” stopping at Palestinian towns in the territories, where Jews don’t live.

Urquhart continues:

Information on the new services, which are operated by the company Afikim, have reportedly only been advertised in Arabic and distributed only in Palestinian areas of the West Bank.

However, if the goal of the new bus line is to improve service for Palestinians living in the West Bank but working in Israel, it would certainly make sense to advertise the lines in Palestinian towns, and only in Arabic.

Again, Urquhart:

Palestinians used to use Palestinian minibuses and taxis to travel into Israel but Israel has increased the number of permits it gives to Palestinians which has led to more mixing on shared routes.

Indeed, Palestinians were dependent upon transportation services by unauthorized Arab companies which charged far more than the new Israeli lines do, and Urquhart, further in his report, quotes the Transportation Ministry official making a similar point.

For example, the public fare for Palestinians traveling to Raanana is reportedly 5.1 shekels (roughly $1.35), and to Tel Aviv will cost 10.6 shekels ($2.85). This is compared to roughly 40 shekels ($10.75) that passengers have been charged by the private transportation services.

Additionally, Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz was quoted in Israel HaYom as explaining that “Palestinians were permitted to use any public bus line they wished, including the ones used by settlers.”

Lowenthal Marcus makes the additional point:

The new bus lines are not, as the misleading headlines suggest, only for Arab Palestinians, the restriction they have is that they only stop at Arab towns in the territories, where – few would disagree – Jews with or without special identification would not dare go for fear – a legitimate one – of physical violence.  The fact remains that any Israeli citizens, Jewish, Christian or Zoroastrians, who live in the “Jewish” towns, were able to and did use the pre-existing bus lines.

As Seth Frantzman observed in the Jerusalem Post today:

The website of the bus company, Ofakim, shows that the No. 211 bus route begins near Kalkilya and travels to Tel Aviv with stops in Petah Tikvah, Bnei Brak and elsewhere. It doesn’t indicate that it is a “Palestinian only” bus or that Jews may not ride it. Ofakim claimed “We are not allowed to refuse service and we will not order anyone to get off the bus.”

Frantzman also argued that “nothing obvious prevents Arabs from commuting to a bus stop near a large Jewish community, to take a bus serving Ariel for instance.” He added that “there is no ‘segregation,’ no ‘separate but equal.’ No one is ‘sitting at the back.’”

Report: Israel’s Roads Among Developed World’s Most Congested

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

A report by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies shows that Israel has the second most crowded roads of any Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country, coming in under South Korea.

Israeli roads grew 70% more crowded between 1990 and 2008.

The report stated that part of the congestion is due to poor enforcement of laws protecting special bus lanes, and said that the rise in real estate prices in Israel’s largest cities is due in part to sluggish traffic.

Firebombs and Stones

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

On Sunday, a firebomb was thrown at an Israeli car on route 443.

A massive amount of stones were thrown at a bus near Maaleh Adumim.

No one was injured in the attacks.

Israeli Arab Who Blew Up Tel Aviv Bus Captured

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

On Thursday night a Tel Aviv magistrate court allowed the media to report that, a few hours after a bus exploded in a densely populated neighborhood in downtown Tel Aviv, the perpetrators had been captured in a combined effort of police, the ISA and the IDF. It was revealed that the man who planted the explosive charge on the Dan 142 bus was a naturalized Israeli Arab and his operators were Arab residents of Judea and Samaria. Police also arrested the terrorist’s employer, whose vehicle had been used to transport the bomb.

Immediately following the explosion, in which 29 people were injured, security forces launched a chase after the perpetrators throughout the Tel Aviv region, after police explosives experts discovered that the charge which had been concealed under one of the bus seats was activated with a cellular phone, and GSS investigators identified the call as coming from the Arab village of Beit Lakia in Judea and Samaria.

A SWAT team located the terrorist who planted the bomb and his employer, a resident of East Jerusalem, who is suspected of driving him in his car, to help him cross from Israel to the PA governed territory near the Maccabim checkpoint. The two were stopped and arrested. A short while later the SWAT team, together with IDF and GSS forces entered several homes in Beit Lakia and arrested the members of the terrorist cell that plotted the attack.

The three cell members from the village, who are associated with the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, admitted during their interrogation that they intended to hurt Israeli civilians. In preparation for the attack the cell members purchased cellular phones which were used to activate the explosive charge from a distance. The interrogation revealed that after the cell had been organized, they approached an Israeli Arab, a resident of the Arab city of Taibeh, who was born in Beit Lakia but received Israeli citizenship following his marriage to an Israeli Arab woman.

That Israeli Arab used his employer’s car to reach Tel Aviv, then placed the charge on the bus and alerted the leader of the cell, who was in Beit Lakia, and the latter ignited the charge via the cellphone connection.

Both the perpetrator and his employer admitted the charges against them.

Tel Aviv Not In the Mood to Celebrate Ceasefire

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

As photographs of a triumphant U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made international headline news following her mediation role in the Israel and Hamas truce–which had already seen 12 Gaza rockets fired at Israel within the first two hours–Tel Aviv was not in the spirit to celebrate.

Shortly before the ceasefire went  into effect at 9 p.m. Israel time, the corner of Shaul Hamelech and Henrietta Szold streets in central Tel Aviv where the bus bombing had taken place earlier, were still teeming with press and people.  The bombing which had left 28 people wounded, mostly young people in their 20s and 30s as well as teenagers, was praised by a Hamas spokesperson as a “blessing.”

Other Gaza terror groups like Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee also celebrated the terror attack in press interviews, with Islamic Jihad saying “this is a victory for the blood of shahids.”

For Gadi, an older security officer standing outside a Tel Aviv office building, the bus bombing was terrifying. “It was terrible to see,” he told Tazpit News Agency. “There was blood everywhere. I saw a young woman with her hand blown off, and another man whose foot was severed.”

“At first, when I heard the explosion, I thought it was a rocket that had landed without the sirens going off. I couldn’t understand what had happened until I went to the terror scene at the bus station. It was full of smoke and the smell of gas,” Gadi said. “It’s very hard for me to describe the casualties—the images are hard for me to deal with,” he says as he lights a cigarette, starting on his second box of the day.

“Something must be done about this, we need to be strong and show these terrorists we are strong,” emphasizes Gadi. “I hope we don’t go back to the old times.”

For Michal, a 27-year old history student at Tel Aviv University, who arrived on scene an hour later working as a producer for a local TV station, the bombing brought back memories of her childhood growing up  in Jerusalem.  “It was just like the 1990s, when I was in eighth grade and there were suicide bus bombings all the time,” she said.  “Seeing the images of this bus today, made me go back in time.”

“I saw even worst terror attacks growing up in Jerusalem,” she added. “Thank God there was no one killed in this attack.”

The Tel Aviv terror victims were evacuated to a nearby hospital, where three who had serious wounds to their limbs underwent surgery today.  Their conditions are now listed as moderate.

At an Italian pizzeria not too far from the attack, diners sat somewhat subdued as the T.V. in the background broadcasted Hillary Clinton shaking hands with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. “When will all this end already?” exclaimed one Israeli to another.  “Politicians shaking hands has never ended terror.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/tel-aviv-not-in-the-mood-to-celebrate-ceasefire/2012/11/22/

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