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27 Dec, 2014

Israeli Bus Driver Hurls Racist Abuse at Muslim Female Students

NAZARETH, December 25, 2014 (WAFA) – An Israeli bus driver made racist remarks on Wednesday against a group of Palestinian female students studying at the Tel Aviv University when they got on the bus, because they were wearing the Islamic attire and headscarf.

In a phone call with the bus company Dan, CEO Shmuel Refaeli, Palestinian Member of the Israeli Knesset Ahmed al-Tibi Thursday condemned the incident. He demanded immediate intervention and taking the necessary measures against the driver who insulted the students.

Al-Tibi reported the incident to Refaeli; he said the students who took the bus from the area near Tel Aviv University were greeted with racist comments from the driver. The latter commented on the girls’ “disgusting” look and compared them to ISIS.

The incident comes nearly a month after the Palestinian bus driver, Youssef al-Ramouni, 32, was found hanged in his bus in East Jerusalem. Tensions in the city of Jerusalem and in places where Palestinians and Israeli reside are mounting following a series of killings and retaliatory actions over the course of six months.

Al-Tibi demanded that the bus driver be punished for his racist comments. He informed Refaeli that someone like the driver shouldn’t be working in a public company and that bus drivers shouldn’t insult anyone on the bases of religion or nationality.

According to al-Tibi’s office, Refaeli promised to resolve the situation and take strict measures against the driver. Al-Tibi reasoned, “Hijab is a religious symbol and shouldn’t be a reason for racist and rude comments.”

He criticized the increasing Islamophobia and discrimination in the Israeli society against Muslim women who wear the Islamic attire and the complications they face in airports and bus stations.