Leaders of Chareidi Parties Protest Scheduled Shabbos Train Work

YERUSHALAYIM -
Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, United Torah Judaism parliament member Moshe Gafni and Rabbi of the Western Wall rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch seen during a visit at the mixed-gender prayer section at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Old City on May 30, 2016. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (L), Finance Committee Chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni (C) and Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The leaders of the chareidi parties, United Torah Judaism and Shas, said they “fiercely oppose” the yet-again planned construction work this Friday night on the railway network.

In their statement Thursday, Health Minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni and Interior Minister MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri again protested scheduled construction for this Shabbos, saying it would be possible to do the work during the week without pikuach nefesh.

The chareidi parties were angered by the fact that they were not informed of the scheduled construction, and found out after seeing a notification issued by the police Thursday afternoon informing the press and public of traffic closures for this Friday night.

They noted that since the crisis over the work on Shabbos began several weeks ago, “construction has been reduced significantly and a large portion of the workers are not Jewish.”

They said that they strongly object to the behavior of the police, “which is acting unprofessionally when it insists that the work be done on Shabbos when it could be done during the week.”

Rabbi Litzman, Rabbi Deri and Rabbi Gafni said they demand an immediate meeting with the police commissioner “to underline the gravity of the matter of blatant and unnecessary chillul Shabbos.”