Hundreds of meters of communication cables stolen from Israel Railways

The incident has caused significant damage and has shut down the signaling system and traffic management systems of the railway in the south of the country.

Passengers wearing face masks at the Tel Aviv University Railway Station on December 8, 2020 (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Passengers wearing face masks at the Tel Aviv University Railway Station on December 8, 2020
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

Hundreds of meters of communication cables were cut and stolen from Israel Railways' signaling system near Lehavim in southern Israel, early on Saturday morning.

The incident has caused significant damage and has shut down the signaling system and traffic management systems of the railway in the south of the country, and Israel Railways admitted that the Beersheba station could be closed on Saturday evening as a result.

Israel Police and security officials have opened an investigation into the incident, and at the same time, Israel Railways technicians and engineers are at the scene working to repair the extensive damage that has been caused.

Similar signal issues in recent months

In recent weeks, Israel Railways has experienced more than one technical issue that has led to significant delays or schedule changes, and two weeks ago, trains were halted across the entire country for several hours on a Saturday evening due to a signal malfunction. 

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Israel Railways CEO Michael Maixner inaugurate the extended Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Savidor Central railway (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Israel Railways CEO Michael Maixner inaugurate the extended Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Savidor Central railway (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Back in April of this year, train traffic was halted between the Beersheba-Lehavim and Rahat-Kiryat Gat stations due to damage in the communications and signaling systems in the Lehavim area.  

A preliminary investigation conducted at the time indicated that the communication cables were stolen.