Uber will have to stop providing its car-sharing service in Israel as of 10 AM Wednesday, after the courts ruled in favor of competing companies. A Tel Aviv judge issued an injunction to that effect on Monday.
Judge Eitan Orenstein explained that because the drivers in question lacked appropriate insurance for passengers, he could not allow Uber to continue to operate run Uber Day and Uber Night ride-sharing services using private household cars in Israel.
The Uber taxi service, however, may continue, the judge ruled.
Uber had been successfully sued by an Isreally Taxi drivers association. Separately, the Transportation Ministry sued Uber in May, on the grounds that Israeli regulation forbids taking passengers for money unless one has a taxi license. That case is still pending.
The ministry claims that not only the driver, but even passnengers are in violation of the law. In the suit they name Uber's local manager, Yoni Greifman, and six drivers as those who are accused of taking passengers for pay.
Uber began operating in Israel in late 2016, on a small pilot basis. It expanded its carpooling operations over a month ago despite objections from the government.
A source at the Transportation Ministry speaking on condition of anonymity told TheMarker, "Someone boarding an Uber car is a criminal - both driver and passenger."
"The ministry is conducting a legal petition against the company, and there is the possibilty of filing of an interim injunction against its activities and the opening of a full criminal proceeding. A criminal proceeding will be conducted against anyone who provides the service or is a passenger and against the company itself. The legal counsel of the transportation ministry is working with all the relevant parties to find the most appropriate path forward." the source said.