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Rocks hurled at bus heading to Eilat, smashing window

No injuries reported in incident in Negev; Egged bus company blames Bedouin, says its vehicles are attacked because they symbolize the Zionist regime

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Screen capture from video of smashed glass on the floor of a bus that was stoned as it traveled from Tel Aviv to Eilat, November 30, 2021. (Twitter)
Screen capture from video of smashed glass on the floor of a bus that was stoned as it traveled from Tel Aviv to Eilat, November 30, 2021. (Twitter)

Rocks were thrown at a bus traveling to Eilat in the southern Negev region early Tuesday morning, smashing a window on the vehicle, in what the bus operator said was an attack on a symbol of the Jewish state.

The Egged bus company blamed local Bedouin for the attack, saying such incidents are on the rise.

There were no reports of injuries and the driver of bus No. 790 from Tel Aviv to the southern resort city filed a complaint with police.

“Apparently these are young Bedouin rioters who have recently frequently been attacking Egged’s buses on the roads of the northern Negev for nationalist motives, apparently, due to Egged buses being perceived as a symbol of the Zionist regime,” Egged said in a statement.

Egged said the “shameful phenomenon” has been on the rise, with dozens of recent incidents, and that aside from the serious damage to property and disruption of services in the Negev, such attacks inevitably include a threat to passengers.

The Israeli Bus Drivers Union, which is part of the Histadrut Labor Federation, urged an end to the “terror against drivers and buses” and called for drivers to be recognized as public servants.

Such recognition will “protect their lives and the lives of the passengers and lead those who attack drivers and passengers to sit behind bars.”

The union urged law enforcement action and warned that were it not for the resourcefulness of the driver, Tuesday’s incident could have ended “with many deaths.”

Earlier this month another bus was attacked on the same road and forced to end its journey in Dimona, where the passengers were asked to exit the vehicle at the city’s central bus station, the Israel Hayom daily reported. There were no injuries in the incident and a replacement bus eventually took the passengers to Eilat.

The incidents came as residents of the south have called for better enforcement amid what they claim is a state of widespread lawlessness.

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