Ariel College
Photo: Meir Partush

Ariel College student says taken off bus for speaking Arabic

Israel-Arab claims she was humiliated by two security guards who ordered her off bus after hearing her speak Arabic on cell phone. College: First such incident in 15 years

An Arab-Israel student at the Ariel College in the West Bank claimed she was told to get off a bus because she "dared" to speak Arabic on her cell phone.


Hanin Muslah said that during Thursday's incident she was also subjected to a full body search.


Muslah, who is originally from the Wadi Ara area and is studying for a degree in engineering at the establishment's architecture and interior design department, said two armed security guards boarded the bus near a checkpoint as it was leaving Ariel. She claimed that the guards questioned her after hearing her speak Arabic and eventually ordered her to get off the bus.


"As I was talking on my cell I noticed they were pointing at me," said Muslah, who takes the same bus home every day. "I started to cry. I have never been so humiliated in my entire life. They took me off the bus in the middle of nowhere. I told them, 'I'm an Israeli, just like you are, so why are you treating me like this? Why take me off the bus in such a degrading manner?'"


"I don't wear a veil or traditional dresses; I don’t look Arab," said the student, "I was taken off the bus only because I spoke Arabic."


The Ariel Municipality said the guards in question work for a security company that operates "according to IDF guidelines," adding that "non-Jewish citizens, including students, pass through Ariel's gate every day."


Ariel College said in response that the establishment's Arab-Israeli students make up four percent of the entire student body. "Many of them live in the dorms and are involved in the student community and the city itself. We regret the incident and will check it with the company responsible for security at the roadblock. This is the first time since Arab students began enrolling in the institution (15 years ago) that such an incident has taken place," it said. 


Despite the college's claim, Muslah said other female Arab students have also been humiliated at the Ariel checkpoints, adding that they are considering taking legal action.


"Israel's Arabs – they are not a threat. They only want to go about their business in peace," she said. 


פרסום ראשון: 01.22.10, 22:42
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