Shas Council Rep Resigns Over Karta Lot Debacle


chareidim1Yerushalayim City Council representative Shmuel Yitzchaki of Shas resigned from the municipality coalition this afternoon, in protest over Mayor Nir Barkat’s decision to open the Karta parking lot on Saturdays. Yitzchaki explained that he decided to quit the coalition because Barkat’s decision violated the status-quo in the capital.
Earlier today, Yitzchaki warned that the four Shas city council representatives would quit the coalition if Barkat does not order the closure of the parking lot on Shabbosos, telling Israel Radio that the “directives of Chacham Ovadia Yosef are clear.”The Shas representatives are due to meet Barkat on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, police reopened several Yerushalayim roads that were closed to traffic earlier due to charedi protests against the opening of the Karta parking lot on Shabbos.

This morning, MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to intervene in what he called a “severe crisis” in Yerushalayim.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Paz-Pines said that Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat and the police were not getting the proper backing, adding that “Yerushalayim must not be turned into Teheran.”

Deputy Yerushalayim Mayor Kobi Kahlon said that the police had requested that the lot be opened since the parking situation in the Old City had become “intolerable” and had also posed a security risk.

Also speaking to the radio station this morning, Kahlon noted that charedim had not rioted when former mayor Uri Lupolianski, “one of them,” had opened a municipality parking lot in Ein Kerem on Shabboses

Nevertheless, former police commander Mickey Levi asserted that the decision to open the parking lot was a mistake, saying Barkat “was insisting on making the wrong decisions.”

“The municipality building parking lot has been closed for 15 years; why open it? Why break the status quo?” he told Army Radio.

{Yair Israel/JPost}