Sunday, 3 March 2013

Report: Israel to operate 'Palestinian-only' bus routes


TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- An Israeli bus company on Monday will begin operating Palestinian-only lines from the West Bank to Israel as a result of complaints from settlers, Israeli media reported Sunday.

The new bus routes will be operated by Israel's Afikim company and take Palestinian workers from the Eyal crossing, near Qalqiliya, to Israel.

Israel's Ministry of Transportation defended the plan by saying that buses traveling in the area were overcrowded and there were tensions between settlers and Palestinians, the Israeli daily Ynet reported.

Many settlers complain that Palestinian passengers are a security risk, an Israeli transport ministry source told Ynet.

A Palestinian who holds a permit to enter Israel is legally allowed to use public transportation and can therefore travel on any bus route he or she chooses, Haaretz reports. more

Hamas, Fatah officials say US opposes Palestinian unity


CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Hamas and Fatah officials said Saturday that Palestinians must ignore external intervention and foreign pressure in order to ensure political reconciliation is successful.

The comments were made as Palestinian officials met in Cairo for a board meeting of the Yasser Arafat Foundation.

Hamas deputy politburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouq said that the United States and Israel want to keep the Palestinian people divided and their foreign policies have a serious impact on unity between factions.

The US administration will "stop aid to the Palestinian Authority if reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is achieved and Hamas joins a Palestinian unity government," the senior Hamas official said. more