A decision by the Transportation Ministry to ax dozens of bus lines that operate before the end of Shabbos came under furious criticism Thursday by politicians from across the spectrum, as well as from campaigners for more public transport on weekends.
It has emerged that more and more bus lines that for years operated on Shabbos with the agreement of local authorities are being canceled due to complaints to the Transportation Ministry from the religious public.
A ministry official also said that several dozen lines that were operating close to Shabbos have been axed to prevent Chillul Shabbos.
“We have chosen to consider the religious public where possible without compromising the routine of the [majority] secular public,” the official said.
“People must understand that we are implementing government policy.”
The head of the centrist Blue & White Benny Gantz vowed to reverse the decision should his party be victorious in the March 2 Knesset elections.
“The State of Israel is a Jewish state, not a halakhic state,” Gantz said, referring to Jewish religious law.
“We will win [in the elections] and we will rectify this. Everyone can live here in their own way,” he said.