Hundreds of meters of communication cables were dug up and stolen overnight from the Israel Railway signaling system near the Lehavim-Rahat train station in the south, it was announced Saturday morning.
The theft “caused great damage and disabled the railway signaling and traffic management systems in the southern region,” Israel Railways said in a statement.
“There is a possibility that trains will not resume between Beersheba and the north of the country on Saturday night due to the extent of the damage and the necessary repair work,” the statement read, adding that technicians and engineers were working to fix the damage.
In a later statement, Israel Railways said the train service would resume as scheduled on Saturday night after repairs were made in time.
According to the Ynet news site, trenches were dug on either side of the track and the cable was removed, apparently for its value as a source of metal.
No arrests have been made. Police said they launched an investigation.
Local officials and residents of southern Israel have made longstanding complaints about crime in the region.
Leaders and community members blame police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence.