In order to discourage Palestinians from traveling with Israelis, the Israeli government will begin offering a "Palestinians-only" bus service on Monday. The service will take Palestinian workers from the West Bank to Israel. The line of transportation is legally open to anyone, but the ministry of transport said that the bus is really meant to improve travel for Palestinians.
Information on the new service has just been advertised in Arabic and distributed only in Palestinian areas of the West Bank, reports The Guardian. The name of the company that will run the new buses is Afikim. Buses will go from a checkpoint near the Palestinian town of Qalqiliya across the border of the West Bank towards Tel Aviv. Palestinians who have been granted work permits by the army will be allowed on the buses.
The number of permits that Israel has been granting to Palestinian workers has been increasing, which is one of the reasons why the new route makes sense.
The transportation ministry made this statement in an Israeli newspaper: "The new lines are not separate lines for Palestinians but rather two designated lines meant to improve the services offered to Palestinian workers who enter Israel through Eyal Crossing. The new lines will replace irregular, pirate lines that charge very high prices from Palestinian passengers. The new lines will reduce congestion and will benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike."
Although it is against the law for any passenger to be stopped from boarding a bus, Israeli civil rights group Checkpoint Watch said that there have been recent incidents of Palestinians being denied bus access.
Source: The Guardian