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Friday, March 16, 2012

Jerusalem Lightrail, The Honeymoon is Over

photo by Batya Medad
Among the many complaints/warnings about the bad planning concerning Jerusalem's lightrail is the issue of security.  There are many aspects to the security of lack of it on and surrounding the internal Jerusalem train.  One of them is seen in the picture on the left.  There's no barrier, of any sort, in many places between the train and pedestrians.

photo by Batya Medad
There are also multiple doors on each train and no way of security-checking people before boarding.

Train passengers are a cross-section of Jerusalem and other Israelis including Arabs.  The train passes through both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods.

photo by Batya Medad

photo by Batya Medad

photo by Batya Medad

Yes, it happened,  Arab terrorism on the train!  A female soldier was seriously stabbed, multiple times. 
...A 19-year-old female soldier was stabbed in her chest and hand on Jerusalem's Light Rail on Thursday. She was treated at the scene by United Hatzalah medics and taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition...
A suspect who fled the scene was later arrested at the Qalandiya checkpoint. During his questioning he admitted to the stabbing. The IDF Spokesman's Unit said that the army placed roadblocks and held extensive checks in the Gaza vicinity checkpoints. Several suspects were detained for questioning.
An initial police investigation suggested that the woman was stabbed by an Arab man who fled the scene...
Scene of the attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Is there anything we passengers can do to prevent more attacks?  Nothing, really.  Arabs travel freely on all of Israel's public transportation, including Egged buses.  They feel safe.  Nobody attacks them.

The trains are designed in a way that makes security impossible.  We've all known that from the very beginning.  So far, at least, none of the planners, from the politicians to the technocrats to the business people involved, have taken the moral step of apologizing for their mistakes.

Refuah shleimah,  a complete recover to the injured woman.


Hadassa said...

I wish I could say that I'm surprised, but I'm not. Refu'a sh'leima to the injured soldier, whom I'm sure was targeted because of her uniform. Perhaps the seriousness of the attack - she is, thank G-d, stable and improving - will prompt passengers to take whatever actions they can to change the situation. I'm not familiar with transportation in Jerusalem. Are there other options for people who rely on public transportation?

Batya said...

Hadassa, it's still possible to take buses, but there are times and routes when the train is quicker and easier. Of course, safety is the issue here.