Israeli PM Netanyahu quit today in dispute over Sabbath row

Vastavam web: An ultra-Orthodox minister in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government quit today in a dispute over work on the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest.But a spokesman for health minister Yaakov Litzman told AFP that his United Torah Judaism party would remain in the ruling alliance “at this stage”, preserving Netanyahu’s slim parliamentary majority at least for the time being.”I resign from my cabinet position as health minister,” Litzman wrote in his resignation letter, a copy of which was sent to AFP.
The dispute is over railway maintenance work, which is less disruptive to travellers on the Sabbath, when no trains run.The national rail company says some Sabbath work is necessary in the interests of public safety and to avoid congestion on roads.”To my regret Israel Railways has lately made the Sabbath day national maintenance day,” he told Israeli army radio after handing in his resignation to the cabinet secretary.
Netanyahu had reportedly been seeking to persuade Litzman not to resign by offering backing for various measures the health minister and his supporters favour.Ultra-Orthodox parties have often played a kingmaker role in Israel’s politics.They control 13 seats in Netanyahu’s coalition, which has 66 out of 120 seats in parliament.