Rescue workers at bombed bus in downtown Jerusalem, Aug. 19 2003. Photo: Science.co.il.
Israel’s Transport Ministry is planning to reinstate roving guards on the Jerusalem bus system – a program last implemented during a previous wave of terror attacks in the early 2000s – Israel’s Ch. 2 News revealed Monday.
“I don’t anticipate the struggle over Jerusalem ending anytime soon,” Transport Minister Israel Katz said Sunday, and added that “bus stops need to be protected, along with the light rail system.”
In recent weeks, the Prime Minister’s Office approved the 80 million shekel ($20.74 million) plan, which placed armed guards alongside the driver to inspect passengers as they boarded the vehicle during the so-called second intifada.
According to the plan, 300 security guards will be stationed at key points along the capital’s bus routes, according to ministry guidelines mapping out the most likely routes for mayhem.
In addition, the ministry also presented a plan, first announced in August, to train 10,000 drivers nationally in relevant aspects of an Israeli-developed hand-to-hand combat technique known as “Krav Maga” (Contact Combat), and in spotting suspected terrorists.
The drivers will also be deputized to stop, search and inspect the bags of suspicious riders, and detain them until police arrive, according to the report.
In a related development, two Israeli Arab youth attacked an Egged bus driver late Sunday evening in northern Israel, Army radio reported.
The two youths boarded the 840 line from Afula to Tel Aviv and asked to be let off at the town of Umm el Fahm. At Megiddo Junction, when the driver asked them to pay for the rides, they punched him, and then fled into a nearby forest.
The driver, who wears a skullcap, maintained that the assault was nationalistically-motivated.
“I believe that, the fact that I’m Jewish, and haredi (ultra-orthodox),” accounted for the attack, the driver said.
“…he punched me in the face, which, among other things, broke my glasses – I was bleeding from my nose and mouth. I shouted to passengers to chase them,” the driver said, describing the attack.
The driver, who sustained minor injuries, was later treated in a nearby hospital.
Police are searching for the two, and said they knew the the assailants’ identities.
Source:: The Algemeiner