Agreement Struck to End Chilul Shabbos on Railways

Agreement, Struck, End, Chilul Shabbos, Railways
Education Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri and Health Minister UTJ MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Plans to conduct work on the southern section of Israel Railways this Shabbos were cancelled after a meeting between government officials and charedi minister on Thursday.

Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri (Shas), Health Minister UTJ MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman and Finance Committee Chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni presented the case to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Transport Minister Yisrael Katz that rail work in recent weeks has involved chilul Shabbos, a situation that the chareidi parties cannot allow to recur without protest and, if necessary, leaving the coalition.

The parties agreed that the status quo would be maintained, as called for in the coalition agreement, and that government ministries would act to prevent the broadening of Shabbos desecrations.

The government committed to conduct a review every Thursday of maintenance and repair scheduled for Shabbos, to determine if there is any justification for it.

The chareidi parties designated a panel of four MK’s to monitor the government’s compliance with the agreement: Uri Maklev (UTJ), Yoav Ben Tzur (Shas), Rabbi Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) and Michael Machlieli (Shas).

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