Samaria Bus (file)
Samaria Bus (file) Meir Sela

The Knesset Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria held a special discussion Tuesday regarding the budget for rock-proofing buses and other vehicles in Judea and Samaria.

The fleet of rock-proofed buses – which have reinforced windows that can withstand a direct hit by a rock – is almost 20 years old, and the buses need to be replaced.

MK Menahem Eliezer Mozes (UTJ), who took part in the session, told Arutz Sheva that he is worried about the situation, and the dangers that children could be subjected to if a bus malfunctions and 50 children aboard find themselves stuck near a hostile Arab village.

"Rock-proofing the buses has to be the top priority," said Mozes. "This is truly a matter of saving lives, and there is no budget problem today. There are budget surpluses of close to NIS 30 billion, and first and foremost, it needs to go to saving lives. The Jewish children in Judea and Samaria are no less important than those who are located anywhere else in Israel."

Subcommittee Chairman MK Moti Yogev warned that the bus fleet is in a state of collapse and that buses have been catching fire as a result of malfunctions, with children only barely making it out safely. He demanded that NIS 50 million be allotted to rock-proof vehicles, and warned that he might vote against the Coalition otherwise.

Eli Ben Shimol, of the Gush Etzion Development Company, said that he has seen three children's buses go up in flames, but in all those cases, the children inside made it out safely thanks to the drivers' resourcefulness. He added that he does not want to imagine what could happen if children are unable to make it out of a burning bus in time.

He said that 40,000 civilians are transported by public vehicles every day in Judea and Samaria, and 12,000 of these are transported in rock-proofed buses.

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