Transportation Ministry to Uphold Status Quo on Shabbos Buses

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

The chareidi parties have secured a pledge from Transportation Minister MK Yisrael Katz (Likud) to hold the line against the current agitation for allowing bus companies to operate on Shabbos.

At a meeting on Monday afternoon with Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri (Shas), Health Minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) and Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, Katz said that the ministry would continue to uphold the status quo and prevent attempts to violate it.

The chareidi leaders commended Katz for his responsiveness to their request, including a directive to all senior officials in the ministry to act to preserve the status quo. Under existing law, municipalities must receive permission from the Transportation Ministry in order to operate buses on Shabbos.

Meanwhile, in the Knesset, MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) denounced the move to run public transportation on Shabbos.

“The Israeli government will not fall over investigations into the prime minister, or over peace deals, rather it will fall over the breaking of [the laws of] Shabbos, as enacted by an official government body. I am saying clearly — we will not pass over this like it is normal,” he was quoted as saying by Arutz Sheva.