Jerusalem: Israel`s Supreme Court has issued a
ruling permitting the separation of men and women on some
buses serving minority ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, but
only if the passengers agree.
Court spokeswoman Ayelet Filo says the approval is for a
trial period of a year.
Ultra-Orthodox practice forbids men from touching women,
except for their wives. Men and women are separated in public.
Recently on two bus lines serving their communities, women
were instructed to sit in the back.
Human rights and women`s groups objected, filing a suit
with Israel`s Supreme Court. The court ruled today that the
arrangement is legal as long as it is voluntary.
There have been several cases of women complaining that
male passengers verbally abused or assaulted them when they
refused to move back.