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Bus drivers protest violent attacks in Tel Aviv

CM 12/09/2021

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Bus drivers are protesting their working conditions and their environment, as well as the violence they have experienced recently, near the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
Violent attacks on bus drivers surged in the past months throughout Israel over mask disputes between the drivers and the passengers. 
Last week, three minors were arrested after throwing glass bottles at buses in Givat Ze’ev, a settlement close to Jerusalem, and spraying the drivers with pepper spray.

In August, a bus driver in Ashdod was lightly injured after being attacked by three young men. The men, who reportedly attacked the driver after he told them to put their masks on, escaped from the scene. Two days prior to that incident, another driver had his nose broken by a passenger who refused to wear a mask. A day before that, a passenger on a bus in Tel Aviv threatened the driver and then smashed windows on the bus with a hammer after being told to wear a mask.
In July, a 19-year-old resident of Jerusalem was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of attacking a bus driver in the haredi city of Modi’in Illit in the West Bank.

 Bus drivers march in Tel Aviv in protest of the violent attacks against them. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI) Bus drivers march in Tel Aviv in protest of the violent attacks against them. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

“If [Transporation Minister Merav Michaeli] continues to ignore the basic requirements of bus drivers, we will not hesitate to go to the High Court of Justice,” said Israel Ganon, head of the Bus Drivers’ Union at the Histadrut.
“We can shut down the entire country,” added Ganon.
According to the Bus Drivers’ Union data, 3,644 drivers were attacked in 2020, but the actual number is even higher because only 47% of attacks are reported. Some 19% of bus drivers reported three or more attacks throughout the year.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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