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Israel: Arabic Announcements to Return to Be’er Sheva Buses

Practice had stopped at request of mayor, following Jewish residents’ complaints.

Announcements over the loudspeakers in Arabic on buses in Be’er Sheva will be reinstated by June, the Transportation Ministry told the High Court of Justice on Tuesday. In November the ministry instructed the operator of public buses in the city, Dan Be’er Sheva, to cease the Arabic announcements about stops.
Dan Be’er Sheva began running buses in the city about six months ago and began making announcements in both Hebrew and Arabic. But three days after it began operations, the Transportation Ministry ordered the company to stop the Arabic announcements, saying Mayor Ruvik Danilovich had requested it after he received complaints from local Jewish residents.
In December, five Negev Bedouin filed a petition with the High Court asking to reinstate the announcements in Arabic on the buses. The Transportation Ministry told the court the Arabic announcements began by mistake and ahead of schedule. Also, the ministry stated, the Arabic information had a number of mistakes and problems with the audio.
As a result, the ministry said it hired an outside firm to correct the mistakes, and the work is scheduled to be completed by May 17. After the new audio technology is received, it will be installed on the buses in Be’er Sheva for a week-long test, and if no major problems are found, the bilingual announcements will go backl into operation by June 7, the Transportation Ministry told the High Court.
The Transportation Ministry said it is working to institute bilingual announcements on all public transportation all over the country, and will introduce it gradually based on the needs in various cities. But the ministry did not provide details of where and when this would happen.
Almog Ben Zikri
Haaretz Correspondent
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.784416

Schermata 2017 04 20 alle 08.27.13

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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