Bus driver
Bus driveriStock

A haredi man filed a lawsuit against a bus driver after he trapped him on a bus and humiliated him during a bus ride to Beit Shemesh.

The driver, an Arab, was arrested after the incident, convicted of uttering threats, and sentenced to three months probation and NIS 3,000 in compensation.

The civil lawsuit was filed by attorney Menashe Yado of the Honenu legal aid organization, who represents the passenger. In the lawsuit, Yado demands compensation of NIS 75,000 from the driver.

In the lawsuit, Attorney Yado describes the driver's abuse of the passenger: "On April 26, 2021 at around 6:35 am, the plaintiff got on the bus and sat down in one of the seats. After several stops, the plaintiff was left alone on the bus. Then the defendant asked the plaintiff to approach him at the front of the bus near the driver's seat. When the plaintiff arrived near the driver, the driver stopped the bus and pulled out his cell phone, pointed the camera towards the plaintiff's face and told him that he was taking a picture of him. The driver stopped the bus in a section of road where there are no houses and hardly any cars pass through it in the early hours of the morning."

"The plaintiff felt very threatened, and was alone, not only inside the bus, but also in the vicinity of an open area. Later on, the defendant began to ask the plaintiff questions in a threatening tone: "If I am now in the Old City and I meet you, what would I do to you?" The plaintiff, who was very frightened by the whole situation but well understood the defendant's intention, replied 'hit me'. The defendant replied 'not just that, really beat you'. In doing so, he managed to scare the plaintiff, who felt panicked and threatened."

"The defendant continued to photograph the plaintiff and taunt him and record him being humiliated and ask him: 'Do you like Palestinians?' The plaintiff replied 'no', the defendant in a threatening tone tells him 'say yes', and the plaintiff replies 'yes'. And the defendant continues 'Do you love Jews?' The plaintiff answers in the affirmative, but the defendant tells him, 'Say no,' and the plaintiff obeys and replies, 'No.' The defendant demands that the plaintiff repeat a sentence in Arabic. The plaintiff believed that he was still being photographed and tried to immitate the defendant but without success. In the end, the driver continued driving and dropped the plaintiff off in the Rama B neighborhood."

Attorney Haim Bleicher, Director of the Department of Terrorism Victims of the Honenu Organization, said: "This is a serious and unacceptable event. Unfortunately, on the criminal level, it was difficult to collect the full price from the suspect for his evil and anti-Semitic actions. We hope that the court will obligate the suspect for the full amount of the claim, including the punitive damages, thereby sending a dissuasive message against the recurrence of similar cases, especially when it comes to a public service driver."