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Bus rams into Palestinian workers, kills two

A passenger bus dawn Wednesday ran over Palestinian workers who passed though Checkpoint 300, north of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, killing two workers, according to security sources.

They said that at least two Palestinian workers, aged 29 and 30, were killed and five others were injured when a packed passenger bus ran over them at the Israeli checkpoint, which separates the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Ahmad Ebayyat, a witness, said that as workers were gathering to be picked up to their workplaces, a speeding bus lost control and ran over them.  

The casualties were rushed to a Hadassa Hospital in Jerusalem, where medics described their injuries as moderate to serious.

Thousands of Palestinian workers queue before dawn each day to pass through Checkpoint 300.

Workers crowd into the cement- and metal-barred walkways, push through turnstiles, pass a metal detector and show their IDs and permits to Israeli soldiers in order to travel to occupied East Jerusalem and Israel for work.

The checkpoint was reportedly built in 2005 inside the West Bank despite the International Criminal Court of Justice’s ruling that Israel’s wall was deemed illegal in 2004.

Israeli severely restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement through a complex combination of approximately 100 fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, settler-only roads and various other physical obstructions.