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Israelis hop on Tel Aviv's new Sabbath bus service

Tel Aviv's first fleet of minibuses rolled out Friday evening, breaking a longstanding deadlock over whether municipalities can or should operate public transportation on the Sabbath.

The city of Tel Aviv launched a bus service on the evening of Friday, Nov. 22, that has become a subject of public debate because it operates on the Jewish Sabbath. 

Public transportation on the weekend may appear to be a mundane matter, but in Israel, public observance of the Sabbath is a major political issue that lies at the heart of the debate over religion and state. Virtually no public transportation operates on the weekend due to religious custom, and the first minibuses that rolled out Friday evening broke a longstanding deadlock over the issue of whether municipalities can or should operate public transportation on the Sabbath. 

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