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October 2, 2014 10:31 am

Israeli Government Tackles Hitchhiking in Judea and Samaria

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The kidnapped and murdered Israeli teens. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Following the abduction and murder of Jewish teens Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel while they were hitchhiking in Gush Etzion in June, the Israeli Education Ministry is working to prevent students at the 22 yeshivas and religious girls’ schools in Judea and Samaria from taking rides with strangers.

One of the first projects is organized transportation for students, to which the ministry allocated about $2.7 million at the beginning of this school year. The transportation includes about 200 buses per week which on Sundays pick up students from nearby cities, including Jerusalem, Beersheba, Kfar Saba, and Netanya, and on Thursdays return them to their hometowns for the weekend.

“This is a very important initiative that inspires feelings of security in the students and staff,” said Rabbi David Rabinowitz of the Makor Chaim yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, Israel Hayom reported.

Benny Fisher, the director of rural education at the Education Ministry, said the buses will not pick up hitchhiking students. “In cases where students live inside Judea and Samaria, the bus’s route will enter the town and drop the student off safely in a protected and well-lit area,” he said.

“The schools are responsible for signing the students up for transportation and for ensuring that every student has the transportation solution that they need,” added Fisher.

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