The system, developed by Israeli Military Industries, takes the form of a turnstile fitted with shields that contain sensors which can detect explosive materials and metals at a distance of up to a metre from the bus. 

When the sensors identify a suspicious object, the turnstile remains blocked and a red light flashes near the bus driver. 

A green light indicator goes on when a harmless passenger boards the bus. Another turnstile at the rear door allows passengers to get off the bus but not board it. 

Windows are bullet-proof and shrapnel-proof and a communication system allows the driver to talk to passengers waiting outside the bus and also to lock the windows and summon help in case of emergency. 

The cost

The Israeli daily Maariv on Friday estimated the cost of each bus at between $25,000 and $30,000. If a trial period on five buses turns out to be positive, some 4000 buses will be fitted with the new system within two years. 

More than 20  human bombers have blown themselves up aboard Israeli buses or at bus stops since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising in late September 2000, killing around 100 people and wounding scores more. 

Many human bombers have blown
themselves up on Israeli buses

Maariv also revealed that Israel's foreign ministry had decided to back an initiative by Zaka - the religious organization in charge of collecting human remains after bombings - to send the charred carcass of a bus to the International Court of Justice  (ICJ) in the Hague.

The move aims to press Israel's point that the separation barrier it is building in the West Bank is needed to prevent Palestinian attackers from crossing into its territory. 

The ICJ is to give its opinion on the legality of the barrier on
23 February. 

Palestinians denounce the barrier, which will eventually stretch 730 kms, as a land-grab and an Israeli bid to pre-empt their future state's border as the fence often cuts deep into their territory.