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Netanyahu Nixes Bus Project That ‘Smacked Of Apartheid’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday shelved a project for Palestinians to ride separate buses from Jewish settlers returning to the West Bank.

The three-month pilot program had just been approved by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon before the quick turnaround. It required Palestinians who work in Israel to return to the West Bank on different buses, according to The New York Times.

Jewish settlers demanded separate transportation, citing security concerns. Critics of the program say this isn’t justifiable, because Palestinians working in Israel already received permits to do so.

Opposition politicians in Israel said the program “smacked of apartheid” and would damage Israel’s reputation abroad, according to the NYTimes. The deputy defense minister, a member of the Jewish Home party, defended the program in view of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

According to Jewish settlers and a Jewish Home legislator, the buses were too crowded, uncomfortable and Palestinian men had allegedly sexual harassed women.

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