Samaria protest: Don’t let Palestinians on our buses

Around 300 residents joined MK Oren Hazan (Likud), Samaria Regional District head Yossi Dagan and Samaria Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon in a protest march on Sunday evening, from Ariel Junction to Gitai Avisar Junction down Highway 5.

The protest comes in the wake of a stabbing attack last Thursday in which a female soldier was moderately wounded by two Arab terrorists at a bus stop at Ariel Junction; the terrorists were then shot and killed by security forces.

Arutz Sheva was on the scene as the protesters demanded that Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) not give in to international pressure, and ban Palestinian Arab residents of the region from using Israeli buses.

At least two terror attacks have recently been conducted thanks to the Arab access to Israeli transportation. Residents have long warned of the inherent dangers in allowing mass numbers of Arab workers on Israeli buses in addition to the Palestinian Authority (PA) buses; video has illustrated the security risk posed by the situation.

Addressing the protesters, Dagan said the attacks could have been prevented, noting that the writing was on the wall.

"Already back in October 2013 we contacted the Defense Minister and all the relevant sources, and we asked. We demanded not to issue the order to allow Palestinian workers to ride Israeli buses with our daughters," said Dagan.

"The title was: prevent the next attack. Unfortunately we were met with inflexibility and the next attacks did indeed occur."

Also addressing the protest was Ohad Hertz, who was moderately wounded in a terror attack at Ariel Junction several months ago.

"Five months ago I got off an Ofakim bus at Ariel Junction from where I live in Petah Tikva, on my way to my yeshiva in Elon Moreh," recalled Hertz. "I walked towards the hitchhiking stand adjacent to the station where I met a young Arab who told me he was waiting for a taxi."

"We spoke briefly and during that time he smiled at me and said: 'Don't worry man, everything is okay.' The two of us waited to hitch a ride or for a taxi to take me to my destination, until he pounced on me from behind and stabbed me five times in the body. After a short struggle I was moderately to seriously wounded and evacuated to Beilinson Hospital."

Hertz noted that he has studied in Samaria for the last eight years and rides buses with Arabs every day.

"I have nothing about Palestinians as people. We are not racist. But among these people there is shown to be a clear inclination to want to kill Jews. Therefore one can certainly understand residents of Samaria who say here unapologetically: 'We ask not to let Palestinian workers ride with Jews on the same buses.' The concerns are clear. And the Palestinians without a doubt brought this on themselves."

The terror victim said, "many have asked me since the attack what I think the solution is for this whole mess; my answer is that there are lots of options, I could propose traveling on different roads, stationing checkpoints or to increase the security checks, but the truth is that it doesn't matter what my opinion is. I chose a government so that it would give me the solution. As a citizen I expect my Prime Minister and Defense Minister to take care of my security."

"I'm not calling on anyone to resign here. I'm calling on you, dear leaders, to think of a creative solution; that is your obligation and for that you were elected."


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