PM says he will honor court ruling on Shabbat work

Netanyahu says he will honor a High Court ruling that the Prime Minister doesn’t have the authority to stop Israel Railways staff working on Shabbat.

“I respect the court’s decisions,” Netanyahu says, according to Channel 2. “They clarify the order of things; the minister responsible is the labor minister, and he makes the necessary decisions about which work is essential.”

Only work deemed to be essential can be performed on Shabbat in Israel, which triggered a coalition crisis last week when Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz decided that 20 projects met this criteria.

Netanyahu nixed 17 of the 20 projects following an outcry from the religious parties in the coalition, and ruled that they would be carried out after Shabbat. This caused massive disruptions to passengers on Saturday night and Sunday, and led to a successful High Court petition from Meretz leader Zehava Galon.

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