Dozens of Israel Hofshit (Free Israel) activists marched Saturday to central bus stations across Israel, including in Jerusalem, as part of the expanding battle for public transportation on Shabbat.
"It's hard to believe that Israel's capital, Jerusalem, which is also populated by young students who don't live near the city center, doesn't actually have a proper substitute for the lacking public transportation over the weekend, Sarit Hasheks, a member of the group's Jerusalem branch, told Ynet.
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"We urge Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to faithfully represent his voters and work towards a cheap and efficient public transport system on Saturdays," she said.
Roni Ben Aharon, a member of the group's Tel Aviv branch, said: "Two weeks ago we started a national campaign with the purpose of changing the state of public transportation on Saturdays. This weekend we returned to the streets in order to keep the issue on the political agenda and to show our elected representatives that the issue received great support within the Israeli public."
Israel Hofshit's Chairman Miki Gitzin summarized the group's aim: "Over the next few months, more and more city councils will start debating the issue of public transport on Shabbat. We will continue to protest every Saturday until we reach our goal. The status quo in Israel over public transportation on Saturdays will end this year. The Israeli public has had enough."
Last week, the Tel Aviv city Council passed a proposal to operate public transportation on Shabbat. The notion was brought forward by the Meretz party’s representative in city council, Tamar Zandberg, in conjunction with the Israel Hofshit organization.
The proposal managed to make waves and stir a fierce debate among Israelis and was also supported by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.
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