yair lapid 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Finance Minister Yair Lapid insisted Monday that approval of the Open Skies Agreement
was beneficial and appropriate for Israeli citizens and the economy,
and that it would not be rescinded as advocated by protesting Israeli
Lapid said that although the agreement was
final and "the airlines' strike is unnecessary," he vowed to resolve
the particular problems faced by Israel airline companies due to their
unique security needs. He had instructed field professionals from his
office to formulate a solution that would help the airlines operate in
light of the agreement.
Israeli airlines El Al, Arkia and Israir
and the Histadrut embarked on a strike Sunday morning in an attempt to
head off the proposal – which promised to lower prices, broaden the base
of flight destinations and boost tourism by liberalizing routes between
Israel and the European Union over five years – charging it would
result in layoffs.
The Histadrut labor federation announce that
the strike would continue - threatening to ground all flights in and out
of Israel starting on Tuesday at 6 a.m. - and that the Israel Airports
Authority would join the strike in solidarity on Tuesday, unless the
Treasury and the Finance Ministry agreed to alter the agreement in
The Manufacturer's Association was set to present
their petition to the National Labor Court in Jerusalem Monday evening
to order an injunction preventing the Israeli airline workers from
continuing their strike against the reform, Israel Radio reported.
ongoing strikes, the Histadrut exemptions committee approved departure
of a few critical flights, including a flight to Romania Sunday for 40
parents of children with cancer scheduled to take a vacation, Army Radio
A delegation of Israel high school students slated to
participate in an international robotics competition was also permitted
Globes contributed to this report.