Israel's prime minster has overruled his defense minister and called off a proposed plan to segregate Palestinians from Israelis on West Bank buses.
An official in the prime minister's office said that Benjamin Netanyahu called Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Wednesday to tell him that he found the proposal "unacceptable" and the two decided to freeze the plan.
Earlier on Wednesday, Yaalon launched the three-month pilot program following repeated complaints from Jewish settlers who ride the buses and say the Palestinian workers constitute a security threat and frequently engage in sexual harassment of female Jewish riders.
Thousands of Palestinians enter Israel for work each day from the West Bank and often ride alongside Jewish settlers.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog attacked the decision, saying it marked a "stain on the face of the country."
The Israeli defense minister's decision to segregate Israelis and Palestinians on West Bank buses had sparked an angry rebuke on Wednesday, with critics saying it constitutes a form of Apartheid.
According to the edict, in order to better track the movement of Palestinians, the laborers would have had to return to the West Bank through the same checkpoint they had entered from and would have not been allowed to ride back alongside Israelis.