Photo: Avihu Shapira
Bus companies claim financial losses from Monday's decision
Photo: Avihu Shapira
Barak will decide its legality
Photo: Alex kolomoisky
Court postpones bus stoppage discussion
Three high court judges set to continue discussion Thursday regarding legality of police decision to prevent buses from transporting anti-pullout protesters to mass protest march

JERUSALEM - The High Court discussion regarding the police decision to block buses carrying pullout objectors will continue Thursday, the court decided Tuesday.


Police and security forces stopped buses on the way to the southern town of Netivot Monday, in some cases confiscating keys and drivers licenses from bus drivers.


During the court debate, Chief Justice Aharon Barak said “the problem is not a simple one” and added he may extend the panel addressing the matter.


Meanwhile, he also ordered empty buses to be allowed to reach Kfar Maimon, if needed, in order to allow marchers to return home.



An urgent petition was filed by bus companies, which say police action had caused them financial losses.


Protesters who were unable to reach the march also joined the petition, saying they were unable to participate in the demonstration, as most of them do not own private vehicles and had no alternative means of transportation. 


Interim order requested


Attorney Ariel Yehuda Leshem, who represents the group, said hundreds of protesters and bus companies support the petition.


Leshem asked the court to issue an interim order to allow the buses to access to the march, until a final decision is made. 


However, at present no order has been issued and an emergency session has been called to discuss the matter.


"Freedom of movement and freedom of expression are constitutional rights and if you limit them, you must do it in moderation," Leshem said. "I haven't heard that Arab and Israeli protesters who violently demonstrate on a daily basis against the construction of the security fence….have ever been blocked, or that police stopped buses traveling to "Peace Now" rallies in Tel Aviv."


'Sharon is panicking'


Police officials said Monday they were resorting to all possible means to prevent the protesters from  violating the law and disrupting the upcoming settlement evacuation.


Meanwhile, Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union) also petitioned the Supreme Court, claiming the use of IDF soldiers in an effort to prevent the march was illegal, as the march was planned for an area not declared a military zone.


"The use of soldiers for setting up checkpoints across the Negev is an intolerable scandal," he said. "Sharon is panicking and is establishing a military regime, which if not stopped now, will lead the country to anarchy." 


פרסום ראשון: 07.19.05, 12:32
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