Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday issued a statement condemning gender discrimination in the country’s public transport system.
“The State of Israel is a free country in which no one will restrict who may use public transportation or dictate who sits where,” said the prime minister, adding, “Whoever does so is violating the law and must answer for it.”
Netanyahu’s comments came after a bus driver forced a group of teenage girls to cover themselves up. The teenagers also said they were also compelled to sit at the back of the bus.
The incident took place on a bus from the Nativ Express company, traveling from Ashdod to Kfar Tavor in the Lower Galilee.
The driver told the girls that the bus line was operated for members of the haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community. However, the bus operated as public transportation and the driver’s demand was illegal.
In a statement reported on Sunday, Nativ Express said it was reviewing the allegations and that it condemns all forms of discrimination on its bus lines.