Israel's health minister resigns over Sabbath train work

JERUSALEM - Israeli media reports that the country's health minister, who heads a powerful ultra-Orthodox political party in Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition, is resigning over railway infrastructure work taking place on the Sabbath, when all labour is prohibited according to Jewish law.

Channel 10 TV and other media reported Friday that Yaakov Litzman told the prime minister he will step down on Sunday over the issue.

It could spell trouble for Netanyahu if other Ultra-Orthodox Jewish politicians follow Litzman's lead.

Ultra-Orthodox parties offer Netanyahu support to stabilize his coalition, while the government carves out large budgets for their community's schools and seminaries.

Much of Israel comes to a halt at sundown Friday for the Sabbath.

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