Possible solution to Barzilai dispute

"Atra Kadisha" suggests building new ER in Ashkelon hospital over graves.

By JPOST.COM
March 23, 2010 15:23
DELAYS IN building a reinforced emergency room for

barzilai hospital ashkelon 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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A proposal brought forward by the ultra-orthodox organization "Atra Kadisha" may resolve the dispute over the location of a new emergency wing for the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

The cabinet had approved by a narrow margin Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman’s proposal to build the emergency room at a more distant site because ancient bones were found at the original site. Critics say that revising the plans would cost an extra NIS 136 million, delay the project for two years and put the facility too far from the hospital’s main building.


"Atra Kadisha" suggested building the wing over the site without removing or touching the remains, which is prohibited according to halacha.

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Israel Radio on Tuesday cited Litzman's aide as saying that if the bones were not of Jews, it would be possible to begin construction at the original site.

Meanwhile, experts are trying to determine whether the Byzantine burial site contains remains of Jews or of other inhabitants of the area which would, in turn, resolve the current dispute.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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