The Transportation Ministry plans to add more bus lines for Palestinian Authority residents employed in Israel despite criticism over the first such lines. Israel was criticized by pro-PA activists, who termed the PA-oriented lines “apartheid buses.”
In fact, demand for the buses is coming from the PA workers themselves, says Transportation Ministry Director-General Uzi Yitzchaki.
“This is an improvement of service. There is demand, and we will keep moving this forward,” he said in a tape made public by Army Radio (Galei Tzahal).
The bus lines were created in response to concerns voiced by Israelis in Samaria (Shomron), who noted that PA residents were using regular bus lines to central Israel, a situation they warned could pose a security threat. The lack of thorough inspection on the buses could mean terrorists could take advantage of the situation to pose as workers, then attack, they said.
The new lines bring PA residents employed by Israelis to their destination more quickly, while also not allowing free access to central Israel, a move that may reduce the chances terrorist groups will attempt to take advantage of the situation.
The newest lines will run from the towns of Shaar Efraim and from the Arab town of Tarqumiyah in the Hevron region.