Jerusalem Bus Station stops security checks at entrance

Travelers and Jerusalemites riding buses from the capital may have noticed something lacking in the past few days at the central bus station: no more long lines at the entrance to the building.

For the first time since the bus station opened more than a decade ago, security guards will no longer check every passenger with a metal detector.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said the bus station security would focus more on profiling passengers and being selective with security checks.

“The kind of guarding changed because the situation has changed,” he said. “We’re more selective – we’re not going to check a 70-year-old religious man,” said Ruby.

All Arab passengers entering the central bus station during a brief afternoon period observed by The Jerusalem Post were directed to additional security checks in the metal detector and cursory bag check. The process was similar to the security check all passengers used to undergo when entering the building.

Ben-Ruby said the emphasis on better technology and supervision will also make it easier and faster for people using public transportation.

But many people inside the central bus station disagreed.

“I don’t feel safe, but you also don’t get stuck with the traffic jams at the door,” said Esther Avraham, from Aviezer near Beit Shemesh. “I would rather they bring back [the security checks].”

“It’s not OK. There needs to be checks, because terrorists can easily come in here,” said 18-year-old Shir Deri, who works at a kiosk in the bus station.

“They are putting our lives in danger. In a regular mall, there are people standing at the entrance. Anyone can dress like a religious person and blow this whole place up,” said Deri.


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