A train runs parallel to the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Following the Political crisis over terminated railway construction on Shabbat, numerous organizations on the Israeli Left have issued statements of outrage and are holding protests at railway stations nation-wide.
The initiative came after Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu announced on Friday that railway lines would be closed on Saturday night and Sunday for the purpose of construction. The closures are necessary to accommodate for the ban on construction during the Jewish day of rest. These hours are particularly troublesome for soldiers not to have rail service, as many of them are returning to base from their weekends home across the country.
The Israeli political party Yesh Atid, opened an online website in order to help soldiers and the elderly reach their destinations when Shabbat ends Saturday night. The new website
aims to connect volunteers with soldiers, elderly citizens and other people who rely on public transportation to reach their destination, according to Yesh Atid's spokesperson.
In order to run this service, the party set up a special operations room in their headquarters with volunteers connecting those who wish to help and those who need a ride.
The party's statement said "We heard the voices of the citizens and of the soldiers that don't know how they will manage to reach their destination on Sunday morning and we decided to take action for them. It can't be that a citizen needs to cancel a work day, or the elderly will not have a way to be mobile or a soldier will need to shorten the duration of his visit home with his parents and family, due to political arguments within the government."
In late August, the heads of the haredi parties threatened to leave the coalition if the government did not become more stringent on prohibiting work on the Sabbath.
The Prime Minister's Office accused Katz of flip-flopping on the issue and "deliberately attempting to create an unnecessary crisis with the ultra-Orthodox to destabilize the government."
Knesset member Amir Ohana(Likud) on Saturday morning released a statement with regards to the crisis of railway construction on Shabbat, saying "Live and let live is a foreign term to the Haredi parties, that demand over and over the power to veto - and we say 'amen.' Whoever enters the unity government [with the Haredi parties] shouldn't cry over the Haredi veto with regards to religion and state - they [who joined in with the Haredi parties] are to blame." Lahav Harkov, Jeremy Sharon,Gil Hoffman and Jpost.com Staff contributed to this article.