Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on Friday morning informed PM Netanyahu that he will officially resign after the government signed a deal for ongoing infrastructure work on rail lines to continue this Shabbos.
It is unclear if his party (UTJ) will remain the coalition. Litzman’s resignation comes following the Friday morning announcement by Minister Chaim Katz, that he had authorized the railway work to be carried out on Shabbos because failure to do so could endanger lives.
“After thorough examination, I authorized only essential work to ensure the safety of rail traffic and if it were not carried out it could endanger lives,” Katz announced. “This decision reflects full consideration for the feelings of the religious public, on the one hand, and maintaining the routine of the train passengers on Sunday.”
Litzman stated his decision was made after the Gerrer Rebbe instructed him to resign. His resignation will become official on Sunday.
There will probably be a meeting of Agudas Yisoel (the largest faction in UTJ) to discuss resigning from the coalition. Such a decision would also include the resignations of three more government positions—Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush and MKs Yisrael Eichler and Menachem Eliezer Mozes.
If Agudah decides to resign from the government, it will almost certainly spell the same fate for Degel HaTorah and possibly Shas.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)