Israeli Transportation Minister Aims To Keep Tel Aviv Light Rail Open On Shabbos

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i24 News – Israel’s Transportation Minister, Merav Michaeli, is looking into the possibility of the Tel Aviv light rail operating on Shabbos, her office announced Wednesday.

On Shabbos in Israel, stores are usually closed  and public transportation doesn’t run in most cities.

The issue of public transportation on Shabbos is sensitive within the country, Michaeli’s announcement drawing ire from the right-wing and religious political parties.

According to Michaeli – the head of the center-left Labor party – the light rail failing to operate on Shabbos will significantly harm those who do not own a car and negates the significant investment put into the light rail.

“The citizens of Israel deserve that the blockade on the weekend to end,” Michaeli said.

“I have always believed that the freedom of movement of the citizens of Israel should not be restricted, not by day, not by hour, not by any means of transportation, private vehicle or public bus.”

In response, Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, stated: “Instead of worrying about the problem of traffic jams and accidents, Michaeli is looking for easy headlines, once by engaging in temper tantrums on the train, and now by desecrating the Sabbath and harming the Jewish identity of the country. Maybe it’s better that she sticks to what she’s good at, Tiktok.”

The Shas party also rejected the announcement, claiming Michaeli is attempting to “cover up the disgraceful failure of her tenure in all areas.”


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