Netanyahu Sets Up Team to Assess Site for Ashkelon Emergency Room
By G. Lazer
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while in Washington this week for the AIPAC conference, sent instructions to the director of the Prime Minister's Office, Eyal Gabai, to set up a special team to assess the possibility of building a bombproof emergency ward at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon that would be safe from rocket attacks and not sited within a cemetery.
According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister's Office, "The team of experts will submit its recommendations immediately after Pesach, and until the recommendations are submitted there will be no activity on the ground in this matter." The notice indicates all activity at the site will be halted pending a further decision after Pesach and in accordance with the Cabinet decision on Sunday. The press release was coordinated in advance with Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman.
On Sunday the Cabinet approved, by a one-vote margin, the demand by Rabbi Litzman, who acted under the guidance of gedolei Yisroel shlita, to seek a new site for the reinforced emergency ward scheduled for construction, after ancient graves were discovered at the original building site.
In response to the decision the director-general of the Health Ministry, Dr. Eitan Chai-Am, resigned from his post. The political establishment and the anti-religious media launched an aggressive campaign against the Prime Minister and the Cabinet decision.