Accessibility links

Breaking News

Israeli PM Calls Off West Bank Bus Segregation

FILE - Palestinians laborers board a Palestinian-only bus on route to the West Bank after working in the Tel Aviv, March 4, 2013.

Israel's prime minster has overruled his defense minister and called off a proposed plan to segregate Palestinians from Israelis on West Bank buses.

An official in the prime minister's office said Benjamin Netanyahu called Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Wednesday to tell him he found the proposal “unacceptable” and the two decided to freeze the plan.

Earlier on Wednesday, Yaalon launched the three-month pilot program following repeated complaints from Jewish settlers who ride the buses and say the Palestinian workers constitute a security threat and frequently engage in sexual harassment of female Jewish riders.

Thousands of Palestinians enter Israel for work each day from the West Bank and often ride alongside Jewish settlers.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog attacked the decision, saying it marked a “stain on the face of the country.”