Citing rising Arab nationalism and sexual harassment, Jewish residents of Samaria reject ‘racist’ label.
By Elhanan Miller—The Times of Israel
“Don’t focus on us, look over there!” cried Ilanit Sheikh, pointing excitedly at a row of Palestinian laborers who had just alighted from an Israeli bus and were making their way to a nearby village. “Imagine forty of them and one soldier on a bus.”
Sheikh was among some two dozen residents of Ariel gathered at an intersection outside the West Bank city on Thursday evening to protest the fact that the IDF had given permission for Palestinian laborers to travel on public buses to and from central Israel.
In the past, Palestinian laborers did not ride the same buses as did Samaria settlers to get to work. But that changed three years ago, when Major General Nitzan Alon, then commander of the Judea and Samaria Division and now head of the IDF’s Central Command, decided to do away with the separate transportation systems and allow the Palestinians to ride alongside Israelis, said Ofer Inbar, a spokesman for the Samaria Settlers’ Committee.