Overturned bus in Gush Etzion
Overturned bus in Gush EtzionIsrael news photo: Uriel Weiss

The special buses used in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) for security reasons make passengers far less safe in case of a collision, Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl warned Sunday.

Perl spoke following an accident in which a bus overturned in Gush Etzion, injuring 27 people.

“These are very old vehicles, sometimes almost 20 years old, that have been on the road for a long time with very heavy armoring that adds wear and tear on the bus,” he said.

“If there is an accident, buses like these become death traps for the passengers,” he warned.

Perl called to review the safety standards on the buses. “We need new procedures, we need to replace the existing protection with a newer, lighter form of armoring,” he said.

Bulletproof buses are used in Judea and Samaria due to the relatively high frequency in the region of terrorist attacks targeting Israeli vehicles. Terrorists have often attacked using rocks, firebombs or gunfire.

Attacks spiked during the "Second Intifada" between 2000 and 2006, but recent years have seen far fewer attacks. Nevertheless, buses which go through Judea and Samaria remain armored.