Electric Co. fires 1 for Shabbat work

Yishai threatens to quit coalition over the public desecration of the Sabbath.

eli yishai 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
eli yishai 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Less than a week after Israel Beiteinu's addition to the government, a new coalition crisis has emerged over the relocation of a transformer during Shabbat. Shas Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai has threatened to take the party's 12 MKs out of the government following a report that the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) relocated a 220-ton transformer to a power station in Ashkelon on Saturday. "The Israel Electric Corporation desecrated the sanctity of Shabbat, thinking the issue wouldn't be exposed. The transformer could have been relocated during the week at night or on Friday afternoon," said Yishai. "Shabbat is stronger than any government." He added that he would ask the government to explain its decision to allow the transfer. Tzvi Manor, the head of the logistics division of the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), was dismissed from his position on Sunday following the transfer of the 220-ton transformer to Ashkelon. Another worker, from the supplies department, was suspended until the incident was finished being investigated. The IEC management reported that the relocation was carried out under orders from the police. Yishai has already clashed with the government over the Shabbat issue. Next week, the Knesset will hear new legislation allowing for commercial activity on Shabbat. Yishai has threatened to spark a coalition crisis if any of the coalition parties support the law. It would not be the first time that the issue has led to a coalition crisis. In 2000, United Torah Judaism resigned from prime minister Ehud Barak's coalition in protest over the transportation of a superheater during Shabbat.