Transportation Minister Katz May Be Fired Over Chillul Shabbos


Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz could get the ax for rail repairs that he scheduled for last Shabbos.

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu may make that difficult decision after feeling pressure from chareidi factions in the Knesset after it emerged that what Katz claimed was “pikuach nefesh” was actually nothing of the sort.

Netanyahu’s office said last night that there is currently a “crisis of trust” over the Katz’s refusal to obey the prime minister’s order to stop all work on Israel Railways lines over Shabbos.

The coalition chairman said that Netanyahu is livid at Katz and wants to fire him.

The news comes a few days after, as reported on Matzav, the head of UTJ and Shas met Netanyahu following the threat of an ultimatum to Bibi to either fire Katz within 48 hours for allowing repairs to tunnels servicing a high-speed rail line on Shabbos or the chareidi parties will leave the coalition

At the meeting, Shas MK Aryeh Deri and UTJ MKs Yaakov Litzman (Agudas Yisroel) and Moshe Gafni (Degel HaTorah) called the chillul Shabbos “a very grave matter and an awful violation of the status quo,” but in the end they did not threaten to leave the coalition or call for Katz’s resignation, although they did accuse him of misleading them by calling the repairs pikuach nefesh.

Netanyahu is now taking those concerns seriously and Katz may be out his job as soon as this week, according to sources.

David Steger – Israel