13:41 GMT29 July 2021
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    A court in Tel Aviv has banned the online ride-hailing application Uber in response to a lawsuit filed by a taxi drivers' union and Israeli rival app Gett; the San Francisco-based startup has just two days to wind up operations which were launched last month.

    The globally popular taxi application Uber has been forced to cease its operations in Israel after Tel Aviv District Court ruled its operations are illegal because of a lack of proper travel insurance for drivers.

    "If they won't get insurance, I won't let them drive a meter," District Court Chief Justice Eitan Orenstein said, according to the court transcript seen by the Jerusalem Post.

    Orenstein found that the UberDAY and UberNIGHT services in Israel contravene an Israeli law which forbids drivers from ferrying passengers for payment unless they have a special taxi license.

    The lawsuit was brought by the Association of Taxi Drivers and rival online taxi operator Gett. Uber is also facing another lawsuit filed by the Israeli Transportation Ministry with the Tel Aviv Traffic Court in May, for operating without a license.

    In the face of criticism of the legality of its operations earlier this month, Uber Israel CEO Yoni Greifman said that the existing legislation was outdated.

    "The transportation regulations were drafted in the 1960s and they haven't been updated, before cell phones and technology. We are trying to operate within the correct regulation, but in a regulatory world that doesn't suit the current reality," Greifman told the Jerusalem Post.

    The ban will go into effect on Wednesday and prevents Uber from operating the UberDAY and UberNIGHT services, which were launched just six weeks ago. Passengers will still be able to hail a taxi using Uber's regular service, whose drivers have the necessary licenses and insurance.

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    Tags:
    Uber license, Uber drivers, criticism, ban, court, Israel
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