Following the abduction and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah three and a half months ago, the Ministry of Education has begun preventive measures to ensure thousands of students from 22 yeshivas and high schools scattered in Judea and Samaria refrain from hitchhiking.
According to a report this morning in Israel Today, a special think tank was established to arrange better methods of transportation.
The Ministry decided to allocate ten million shekels (~2.7 million dollars) for organized transport for the new school year. The transportation will consist of about 200 buses a week. Every Sunday, buses will depart from various central stations including Jerusalem, Beersheba, Kfar Saba, Netanya, and more, and will travel between adjacent communities in Judea and Samaria. On Thursday, the end of the school wekk, the students will wait at designated pick-up locations, from which they will be returned to the central bus stations of major cities in Israel.
Rabbi David Rabinowitz, director of Makor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, said: "This is a very important initiative that inspires confidence in the students and professional staff. We are investing heavily in advocacy and training on the subject, and I hope that very soon it will be inculcated among all students in the Judea and Samaria."
Benny Fisher, the head of Education in Judea and Samaria in the Ministry of Education, added that there will be no stopping areas to collect or drop off hitchhiking students in Judea and Samaria. "In cases where students live within the areas of Judea and Samaria, travel paths will be set up including an entrance to a particular town or city, as well as a safe and lit-up stop to alight. Institutions are responsible for registering their students for transportation, and to ensure that all students be required to utilize it," he said.