Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo: AFP

PM to reexamine Ashkelon ER relocation

Netanyahu instructs his office's director-general to head team which will look into professional aspects of moving Barzilai Medical Center's emergency room 'so as not to put human life at risk'. Plan's implemenation frozen until after Passover holiday

The Prime Minister's Office announced Monday afternoon that Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the office's director-general, Eyal Gabai, to appoint and head a team which would look into the professional aspects of relocating the fortified emergency room at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, "in a way which will not put human live at risk."


According to the statement, the prime minister instructed his director-general to submit the professional team's recommendations immediately after the Passover holiday. Until then, the plan's implementation will be frozen.


The government's decision on the matter is expected to significantly delay the completion of the fortified emergency room and cost taxpayers tens of millions of shekels.


Earlier Monday, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat instructed Shuka Dorfman, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, to schedule an urgent meeting with the head of Atra Kadisha – the ultra-Orthodox organization which had raised the claims of Jewish graves located in the area – in order to examine the ancient tombs.


"The decision to relocate the emergency room is wrong and unjustified," said the minister, who voted against the move during Sunday's cabinet meeting.

Barzilai doctors on Monday launched a battle over the emergency room's future. The doctors gathered outside the hospital in order to express their protest over the cabinet decision. Dr. Efraim Zohav, head of the Barzilai doctors' committee, said that the struggle was joined by all of the hospital's workers.


"We won't let this decision be implemented," he said. "It will perpetuate the injustice done to Barzilai and the entire area. We will block the bulldozers arriving at the hospital."


The Kadima and Meretz factions called for a special Knesset session under the title, 'Netanyahu's surrender to the haredim and the government's decision to favor the dead over the living." The 25 signatures required for such a discussion have been submitted to the Knesset secretariat.


פרסום ראשון: 03.22.10, 18:57
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