Haredi man delays bus after refusing to sit next to woman
Bus from Kiryat Gat to Kiryat Malachi forced to wait at station for long time when passenger refuses to have a woman sit next to him, shoving her with his elbow. Man refuses to switch seats, despite other available ones
Ruth Margolin • Ynet
"I sat on the bus line from Kiryat Gat to Kiryat Malachi next to a young haredi man. He started elbowing me and shoving me. He also swore at me and warned me not to sit next to him," 66-year-old Evelyn Assal related Sunday, describing her experience boarding a bus on her way to a funeral.
"I purchased two tickets so I would have enough space. I don't understand why this man suddenly treated me that way."
The argument between the two caused a delay in the bus' departure, to the annoyance of the passengers.
The ultra-Orthodox youth was urged by the passengers to allow the woman to sit next to him and police forces were even called to the scene, but refrained from addressing the matter due to the non-criminal nature of the incident.
"The whole thing was taken out of proportion," sad Nadav Berkovitch, who was on the bus at the time and witnessed the event. "There was a big argument on the bus. Some of the passengers encouraged the woman and supported her. Others said they were late and were being held up," he said.
Other available seats
Berkovitch noted that during the altercation he approached the haredi man and offered to sit next to him. "The man refused. But he did so out of a principal which I don't understand. There were other available seats on the bus."
The incident ended only when two soldiers moved to the front seat, where they are legally allowed to sit, the woman moved to the chair behind the driver while the young man moved to a back seat. "It's just intolerable behavior," Assal said cryingly."He cannot act this way. Shame on him."
The Egged bus company stated in response that passengers are free to sit where they like on that bus line. "If a passenger decides to act like a bully, the driver knows how to handle the matter, including taking the entire bus to the police station." Sources at Egged also stated that the matter will be looked in to.