The Transport Ministry will today receive five buses designed to protect passengers from suicide bombers.
The buses were supposed to be transferred from Israel Military Industries yesterday, but the ceremony was postponed due to the suicide bombing on bus No. 14 in Jerusalem, which killed eight and wounded more than 60.
The protection system includes a turnstile at the front door, allowing passengers to board only if the driver presses a button. The driver will be aided by an explosives sensor that can detect bombs a meter away from the bus.
In addition, the rear door will be one-way, for exit only, and a loudspeaker system will allow the driver to speak to the people waiting to get on the bus.
The security system is supposed to prevent a suicide bomber from getting on a bus and to minimize the number of people wounded if an attack does take place. The driver and the passengers at the front of the bus will be protected by special boards that are supposed to prevent them from being wounded by bomb fragments.
The system, which costs an estimated NIS 120,000 to NIS 200,000 per bus, combines technological capabilities in the ballistic defense, explosive material, and electro-mechanical fields. It was developed in light of the fact that most of the people wounded in suicide bombings were on public transportation.
The ceremony scheduled for yesterday was supposed to include Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman, ministry director-general Benzion Salman, the chairman of the board of IMI, Brigadier General (Res.) Aryeh Mizrahi, and the heads of the Egged and Dan bus companies.
The head of IMI said if the company worked hard around the clock, it could protect most buses in Israel within a short time. He said this project is part of its abilities in fighting terror and defense, and that the system was designed as a way to protect people in Israel. International marketing concerns are secondary, he added.
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