Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Knesset factions have been trying to reach an understanding regarding railway maintenance work and soccer matches on Shabbat, according to coalition sources.

These sources say that several options are being examined regarding railway work, the main one being changes to labor and rest laws, similar to the ones regulating transportation on Saturdays, in which the minister in charge is obliged to take Jewish traditions into consideration as much as possible. […]

Israel Ezra, a former head of a movement advocating a Jewish and democratic state and one of the petitioners on the soccer issue, told Haaretz that “before one cries out about religious coercion one should know the facts. The players are begging for a day off in order to be with their families but they are presented with two options: either soccer or a Sabbath. Most players in the higher leagues do not wish to play on Saturdays.”