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Sun. Sep 4, 2016 News from Israel

  • Netanyahu will not fire transportation minister Katz despite feud between them
  • Trains service returns to normal after mess of Sunday morning commute and congested traffic throughout the day
  • Mortar fire from Syria lands in Golan Heights

Senior level Likud officials told Channel 2 News Sunday that they thwarted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions to dismiss Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. According to the Likud officials: “The MKs made it clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that they would back Katz and the dismissal crisis came to an end.” After the heated debate between Netanyahu and Katz regarding the construction work crisis on Shabbat, the Prime Minister rebuked the Transportation Minister, who was sitting next to him, during the weekly government meeting without actually calling him out by name. In the beginning of the meeting, Netanyahu said: “This crisis was completely unnecessary. There was no need for this situation. When construction work needs to be done on Shabbat, it’s done. When it doesn’t, it’s not.” “In regards to this issue, I expect full cooperation from all the ministers,” stressed the Prime Minister. “Ministers are appointed in order to prevent crises and solve problems, not create them.” Meanwhile traffic in Israel returned to normal on Sunday afternoon, following a morning marked by traffic jams and congestion amid an ongoing political spat that spurred the halting of trains to and from Tel Aviv. Sunday morning saw large traffic jams reported on highways between Haifa and Tel Aviv, the country’s busiest, as well as along smaller alternative routes, after some 150 train departures on the coastal route were canceled. Israel railway officials said that if working on Shabbat would not be possible it would affect the trains schedules for weeks and cause severe disruptions to the train service.

Hundreds attended the funeral of Herzl Shaul, son of fallen IDF soldier Oron Shaul Hy'D whose body is in the hands of Hamas. Shaul died Friday after a struggle with cancer.Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin attended the funeral as well as defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and Shas leader Arie Deri. Netanyahu said in his eulogy: "I came here to look in your eyes and say that my obligation and that of the government of Israel, of the IDF and of the State of Israel is to bring Oron and Hadar back home. This task is at the top of our minds and we will not desist from it."

A mortar shell from Syria hit the central Golan Heights on Sunday afternoon. A military source said that the fire was likely a spillover from the Syrian civil war. No injuries or damage was reported in the incident.

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