A group of Palestinian, International and Israeli activists rode Israeli Eged buses, going to Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon, challenging and Israeli regulation that prohibits Palestinians to use such buses except with a special permit, Palestinian activists said. Around forty people boarded the bus earlier today at the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, a service running between East and West Jerusalem. Their numbers comprised of six Palestinian activists, journalists, and international activists. Just past the check point, near the settlement of Kochav Yacov, the bus was stopped, and Israeli Police boarded.
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, one of the Freedom Riders, spoke to IMEMC over the telephone, providing updates regarding the situation. He said that the Israeli border police were “Surrounding the bus”, claiming that they were under arrest because they tried to “Enter Jerusalem illegally.”
Continuous video footage showed several people being forced off the bus, with one young American-Palestinian woman, a civil rights lawyer, screaming “My name is Huwaida Aarraf, I am a Freedom Rider, and I just want to go to Jerusalem.”
According to numerous Tweets, the bus has now been emptied, with the activists being taken to the nearby police station.
This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. civil rights movement Freedom Ride, whereby civil rights activists rode segregated buses and trains, ignoring the rules and restrictions.
In illegally annexed East Jerusalem, Palestinian activists are marking the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. civil rights movement Freedom Rides, by replicating them to highlight the segregation and discrimination which is prevalent throughout Israeli society.