Ashkelon Mayor Vaknin: Asra Kadisha to Blame

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Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin blames Asra Kadisha for sabotaging the agreement permitting construction of Ashkelon Hospital’s fortified wing at the original planned site despite the discovery of bones at that location, ancient kevarim.

Vaknin points out the chief rabbis of Israel and the Chief Rabbinate Council has endorsed the construction which involves moving the ancient graves found at the location, blaming Atra Kadisha for bullying the administration into backing down, resulting in the current situation. An angry mayor insists that if Deputy Health Minister Litzman did not delay the project, the frame of the new fortified hospital wing could be in place but this is not the case.

Seeking to understand the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s position, officials close to Rav Amar explain when the rav gave his halachic ruling; he was presented with a different picture than exists today, one of pikuach nefesh.

Vaknin states that 200 Grad Katyusha rockets pounded the city during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009) and people were killed and injured. He stated the current situation is simply unacceptable and the prime minister mustn’t hide behind Litzman, but exercise his authority and permit the immediate start of work on this vital project.

The mayor points out that during Cast Lead, most of the patients were evacuated to other hospitals in the center of the country and the staff was compelled to operate in a most vulnerable emergency room, one incapable of enduring a rocket attack. He deplores the ongoing bickering which has resulted in much time being wasted and ongoing delays in the construction of the new fortified wing.

Mayor Vaknin stated that at the end, Deputy Minister Litzman is not to be blamed for there is a health minister, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who must override Litzman and make the necessary decision.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)