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The General Delegation of the PLO to the U.S. is appalled by the launch of two new bus lines aimed at separating Palestinians from Israelis.

The Israeli ministry of transportation claims their objective is to improve the service for Palestinian laborers moving between Palestine and Israel. However, the real reason is the recent complaints bus drivers received from angry settlers who did not want Palestinian passengers to ride on the same buses as they do.

Such an approach to public transportation reinforces the perception that Palestinians cannot receive services equal to that of Israeli citizens. By acquiescing to the racist demands of Israeli illegal settlers, the Israeli authorities are setting a dangerous precedent, which reminds us all of racial segregation and apartheid.

History has proven once and again that such policies only fuel tension and diminish the chances of a mutually agreed peaceful resolution. Here in the United States the “separate but equal” system was categorically rejected decades ago. It is shocking that such notions are being entertained again in the 21st century.

The General Delegation of the PLO to the U.S. urges the international community including the U.S. to put pressure on Israel to rescind such discriminatory policies at once.