A court blocked Uber’s ride-sharing services in Israel on Monday in a victory for the country’s traditional taxi operators, saying the US firm’s private drivers lacked proper insurance. The Tel Aviv district court judge’s injunction ordering the services to stop from Wednesday came after a court challenge from a taxi drivers’ union and a separate ride-hailing app. “They operate private taxis in violation of the law,” said Yehuda Bar On, head of the taxi drivers’ union. “They put passengers in danger because they don’t have insurance. They take drivers who have not had training and official tests.” Uber said it would halt its ride-sharing services in Israel — known as UberNIGHT and UberDAY — but its service allowing traditional taxi-booking through its app would remain. “While we are ending our UberNIGHT and UberDAY pilots, we will continue to offer UberTAXI in Israel,” a company spokeswoman said. “We are committed to working with the Israeli authorities to explore how technology can improve our cities with safe and affordable transportation alternatives.”
The US firm has become a global phenomenon operating in more than 600 cities and dozens of countries, but it has faced a series of scandals and legal challenges. Last week, Uber said hackers compromised personal data from some 57 million riders and drivers worldwide in a breach kept hidden for a year. It has faced resistance from traditional taxi operators and regulators. Israel’s transportation ministry is also pursuing a court case against Uber, saying its ride-sharing services violate the law. Uber Israel in recent weeks launched its daytime ride-sharing services in the Tel Aviv area.
It began its nighttime services in the same area in 2016, though it operated with numerous restrictions, according to Israeli media.