The Education Ministry has sent a warning letter to Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul following his announcement of opening four classes for ultra-Orthodox students only in a secular school located in the heart of a haredi neighborhood next year.
Tensions between local secular and religious residents climaxed Tuesday when Abutbul received a threat letter containing a bullet.
The mayor's decision of opening haredi-only classes prompted many protests by local residents. The Education Ministry is demanding that Abutbul open registration areas in the city's schools for students of all sectors. A letter sent by the ministry noted that should registration not be opened within a week, the ministry will seize the municipality's registration authorities.
The warning letter was preceded by discussions with Education Ministry Director-General Shimshon Shoshani and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
Sa'ar announced in the Knesset plenum that the school will not be shut down over the controversy on January 13.
Beit Shemesh Municipality spokesman Matti Rosenzweig said in response, "The city is working within the authorities it was granted according to the law. In respect to registration for the first grade – upon the mayor's return a decision will be made."
Ronen Medzini contributed to this report