Bus (illustrative)
Bus (illustrative)iStock

Following Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's instruction to supervise the implementation of the coronavirus laws and mask-wearing on public transportation, Israel's Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli (Labor) on Thursday came to an agreement with the Finance Ministry's Budget Department on the issue of funding for coronavirus supervisors.

As part of the agreement, budgetary approval will be passed for the Transportation Ministry to hire 400 supervisors for public transportation. These supervisors will enforce the coronavirus laws, as they did during the previous waves of the pandemic.

During the first stage, the budget will be approved for three months. It will be renewed on an as-needed basis, in accordance with future evaluations of the situation.

Earlier this month, an expose by Israel Hayom revealed a rise in the number of attacks on bus drivers, fueled by anger when the bus drivers attempt to protect their health and that of their passengers by asking unmasked passengers to follow the guidelines.

Koach LaOvdim - Democratic Workers’ Organization, told Israel Hayom: "According to the statistics we have, there has been a 20% rise in violence towards drivers during the coronavirus [pandemic], and the majority of violent instances occurred due to drivers' insistence that masks be worn."

"A reality in which a requirement to wear masks becomes an excuse for an attack is unacceptable. There must be an increase in activities to raise awareness, as well as in police presence."