Egged Drivers to Strike for Two Hours Over Anti-Driver Violence

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Egged bus. (RickP)

Egged bus drivers will be on strike Monday for two hours, with no buses running between 10:00 a.m. and noon. The strike is being called as a protest over what drivers called a lack of police interest in instances of violence against drivers.

Bust drivers have been subject to numerous violent incidents in recent weeks, a spokesperson for drivers said, the most recent being several days ago in Yerushalayim when bus driver Fahmi Jabar was attacked by another driver. According to Hadashot News, a vehicle made an illegal and dangerous pass of the bus and hit it. Jabar got off the bus in order to exchange details with the driver of the car. The driver threatened to hit him, with a second person getting out of the car and forcing Jabar to run away.

After that, an individual who presented himself as a police officer grabbed Jabar’s phone and smashed it to the ground. Passengers then got off the bus and hailed a passing police van, seeking assistance, and an officer moved in to break up the tussle. In the end, the officer took the driver in for questioning – much to the chagrin of the passengers.

Drivers said that they would not accept any violence against drivers. “We are public servants and we expect to be defended as such,” a spokesperson for the drivers said. “We do our job faithfully, but if we are not supported by the authorities we cannot do our job. As such, we will be striking Monday.”

Commenting on the arrest, Egged said that the case involved “a violent attack on a driver by an individual pretending to be a police officer. It is very upsetting how a dedicated driver with a perfect record can be arrested in such a manner. We demand that police investigate this incident and bring the perpetrator to justice.” Police in a statement said that the driver was uncooperative and refused to provide his details to officers, and was therefore arrested.