Public Busses to Service Arab Villages

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JERUSALEM, Israel - The Transportation Ministry announced on Sunday that new public bus routes will soon be servicing residents of Arab, Druze and Bedouin villages.

"Within two months, new public transportation bus lines will begin operating in non-Jewish cities in the north and south of Israel for the first time since the establishment of the state," a Transportation Ministry press release stated.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has been working on the plan to provide public transportation to Israeli Arab communities throughout the country.

"The operation of public transportation in the non-Jewish sector will lead to increases in residents' employment and particularly in women's participation, leading to an increase [sic] in quality of life," Katz said.

Phase one of the new bus lines will begin in the Galilee, with roundtrip service to Peki'in and Beit Jann for Umm el-Fham residents and Fureidis near the Israeli city of Zichron Ya'acov.

Plans are also underway for bus routes to the Druze villages of Daliat al-Carmel and Usfiya and for the Bedouin cities of Lakia, Tel Sheva, Chura and Kuseifa to Beersheva in the south.

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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