Bus Driver Nabbed for Running ‘Car Service’ for Illegal Workers

YERUSHALAYIM -
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

An Israeli Arab bus driver was arrested over the weekend after he was caught transporting illegal Arab workers from Palestinian Authority controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron to work sites in Israel. The driver was detained and his remand will be extended, police said. The passengers have mostly been returned to PA-controlled areas.

According to police, the driver would charge NIS 250 ($63) from Palestinians for passage to Israeli cities, where they could find work. None of the workers had permits to enter Israel.

Police caught the driver after spotting his bus on Road 431, a major highway running from Rishon Letzion to the Yerushalayim-Tel Aviv highway. The bus was moving erratically, so police pulled it over – and discovered the driver’s “payload.”

When the driver stopped for police, who climbed aboard the bus from the front, the driver opened the back door and called on the riders to run. All were caught immediately except for two, who managed to hide for several hours. They were found and put in a court appearance along with the driver at a Rishon Letzion court Sunday.