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Four Israeli Arabs sued the Dan bus company yesterday for allegedly barring them from boarding a vehicle because of their ethnicity.

The four residents of Kafr Qasem allege that the company discriminated against them because of their background and treated them in a "demeaning and humiliating manner." Each of the four plaintiffs is demanding NIS 50,000 in compensation.

The plaintiffs allege that they sought to board the company's 186 line to Kafr Qasem in late January, but were denied entry by the driver after he inspected their identification cards and discovered that they were Arabs.

The four say they were removed from the bus in a humiliating fashion, while non-Arab passengers boarded the bus unhindered. They also say the driver refused to identify himself when they asked.

According to the suit, which was filed in the Kfar Sava Magistrate's Court, the plaintiffs experienced extreme anxiety and deep humiliation as a result of the ordeal.

The plaintiffs' attorneys say they offered Dan a chance to explain what happened and issue a public apology, but did not receive an adequate response from the company.