Police reportedly have arrested a haredi Orthodox teen who harassed a woman for not sitting in the back of a bus.
Noa Kantman, 22, of Safed, said she was modestly dressed in a skirt when she boarded the Egged bus heading for Ashdod on Feb. 15 and sat in the seat next to the driver. Some haredi Orthodox men and boys also boarded the bus and, led by two of them, demanded that she sit in the back.
Kantman, who is modern Orthodox, was on her way to visit her sister who lives near Ashdod. The men yelled at Kantman and began praying in a loud manner, according to reports, while attempting to get her to move to the back of the bus. The men also made menacing moves toward her, causing her to call her sister and ask her to call the police, according to reports.
Police intercepted the bus at the entrance to Ashdod and boarded it, asking Kantman to point out the men who were menacing her. One of the haredi teens, 17, was taken into police custody, and later released on bail.
Israel’s Transportation Ministry maintains a voluntary segregation plan for public buses, under which riders may sit separately if they desire, but fellow passengers cannot be pressured to sit separately. The plan was approved by Israel’s Supreme Court.