Burning Bus Closes Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway

Police report heavy traffic throughout the country due to the Passover holiday.

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The burning bus on Highway 1.Credit: Israel Police

Huge traffic jams brought Highway 1, the main road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, to a standstill on Wednesday, as a result of a bus that caught fire near the Neve Ilan turnoff.

No injuries were reported in the fire and its cause has not been determined.

The traffic jams were exacerbated by the heavy traffic that is typical of the Passover holiday.

Traffic is now moving on the highway, but very slowly. Police have recommended that drivers use alternative routes, such as Highway 443 and 395.

Five people have died in traffic accidents over the past two days, according to a statement released by the National Traffic Police.

"The Department of Traffic Examination is investigating the accidents and it looks like two of them occurred as a result of people stopping on the hard shoulder, and three from drivers failing to stay in their lane of traffic. All of these were most likely due to distractions," the statement said.

One of the fatalities was Haaretz columnist Reuven Pedatzur, who was hit by a car after stopping his motorcycle on the side of the road near Caesarea Junction.

Several highways in the Galilee were also extremely congested on Wednesday afternoon, including Highway 90 and Highway 6 near Ein Tut.

In the central Dan Region, Aluf Sadeh junction was overloaded with traffic due to a large number of visitors to the National Park in Ramat Gan. Police asked civilians to refrain from driving through the area in private vehicles.

Police also announced that the camping grounds at Park Hamaayanot and Gan Hashlosha (the Sahneh) in the Beit She'an area were full.