Honenu: Investigate the criminally reckless Arab bus driver

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 14:27 Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher wrote a letter (see below) to the Public Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, asking him to examine why a criminal investigation into an Arab bus driver working for the Superbus transport company who drove recklessly, injured a passenger, and refused to allow her medical treatment, has not been opened, even though over a month has passed since the incident.

Bleicher explained that this was not an isolated incident and stated, “Time after time, Honenu’s Department of Terror Victims receives complaints about Arab bus drivers and service providers who have abused or injured Jewish passengers or customers. This is a sort of hidden terrorism that repeatedly crosses new red lines. There is a need to eradicate this phenomenon and prevent those who use their jobs as opportunities for assault from continuing at their place of work.”

In his letter, Bleicher wrote, “My client, an approximately 80-year-old woman, boarded the bus driven by the complainee on Eliyahu Koren Street. Before my client managed to sit down, the complainee slammed on the brakes. My client was thrown toward the front of the bus and fell hard onto the floor. My client felt sharp pains all over her body and asked the complainee to stop driving and summon medical care for her immediately. At that time, there were no other people on the bus. The complainee told my client that he would pick her up. My client refused and pleaded for medical treatment. However, the complainee decided for himself and against my client’s will to pick her up by force. In complete opposition to her wishes, he sat her on a bus seat and continued driving. My client screamed in pain and pleaded with the complainee to stop and summon medical care for her, but the complainee obstinately kept driving. He started to let passengers on at bus stops and maintained complete apathy to her condition,” described Bleicher.

Bleicher detailed the ordeal: “My helpless client called her son and asked him to speak to the complainee, but he [the complainee] refused. Her son called the police. Then a policewoman called my client’s cell phone and asked the complainee to speak to her, but he refused. At this point, the son asked my client to give her phone to one of the passengers who had boarded the bus. With the help of the passenger, the son asked the driver to stop and call for an ambulance, but he continued driving and paid no attention to the requests. The policewoman to whom he had spoken summoned an ambulance to the Givat HaMatos bus stop. At the Givat HaMatos bus stop my client was forced to disembark [before a medical examination], with great difficulty and the assistance of a passenger who disembarked with her. From there, my client was transported by ambulance for medical treatment.”

The letter concludes, “My client’s family complained to the police, but they transferred the case to the Traffic Department of the Jerusalem Police. The undersigned sent a letter to the Jerusalem District Police demanding that they detain and investigate him for criminal acts of assault and abuse. The undersigned has not received a reply to this letter and it appears that the police have left the case in the hands of the Traffic Department, although this is a serious case of assault and prevention of medical treatment, even genuine abuse of a helpless elderly woman. I ask you to check with the Israel Police to find out why the case is not being investigated in a way that is appropriate for a serious criminal case to be investigated. Why has the driver in question not been detained? Why is he continuing at his job, greatly endangering the passengers who use public transportation?”

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