Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud) has ordered his staff to allocate four million shekels (roughly $1.15 million) to finance transportation to yeshiva high schools and girls' high schools in Judea and Samaria, he announced Tuesday afternoon.
Shuttles will be available to schools every Sunday and every weekend, to allow the safe travel of students from home to school and back.
Many high schools in Judea-Samaria are boarding schools, and the shuttles would thus significantly reduce the need for hitchhiking for high school students.
It should be noted that for political and financial reasons, buses in Judea and Samaria are infrequent, and hitchhiking home has become a way of life for residents across Judea and Samaria and is a widely accepted - and common - practice.
Car travel is too expensive for many families, due to both a 150% sales tax on new vehicles in Israel, and gas prices topping 7.66 shekel per liter ($6.50 per gallon).
The decision follows Thursday night's abduction of three students - Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad; Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon; and Gilad Sha'ar, 16, from Talmon - by Hamas terrorists. The three were trying to travel home from the Gush Etzion region for Shabbat, and hitchhiking due to the lack of public transport available in the region.