Israel has unveiled a new security system to be installed in buses to try to prevent the vehicles from being blown up by suicide bombers. The system was designed after buses became one of the most frequent targets of such attacks.
Five Israeli buses have been outfitted with the new technology in a pilot program designed to keep out suicide bombers.
The move follows suicide bombings by Palestinians who boarded buses and blew themselves up, killing at least 139 passengers in the past three years of violence. Several of the attackers disguised themselves as orthodox Jews so as not to arouse suspicion.
Under the new system, a driver will be able to lock a simple turnstile and block entry if sensors detect a bomber attempting to board a bus.
Udi Ganini, the director of Israel Military Industries, which developed the technology, explained how it works.
"The system is made of a turnstile in the front of the bus [and] a set of sensors that are capable of detecting a person who is carrying an explosive charge," he explained. "He [the bomber] would not be able to rush into the bus unless the driver would release the turnstile and allow the person to enter into the bus."
Trials of the new system are to be conducted over the next month, but Mr. Ganini says he is confident of success.
He says the system could also be adapted to block suicide bombers from other public areas. Mr. Ganini suggests that it be installed at shopping malls, cafes and restaurants, and other places that have become the target of suicide attacks.