J'lem mayor says entertainment complex won’t close on Sabbath

Nir Barkat tells local news website he will allow First Station complex to continue to operate as it has since it opened five years ago.

JTA,

Jerusalem's First Station
Jerusalem's First Station
Flash 90

An entertainment and cultural complex built in a former 19th century train station in Jerusalem will continue to operate on Shabbat, the city’s mayor said.

Mayor Nir Barkat told the local news website Kol Ha’ir that he will allow the First Station complex to continue to operate as it has since it opened five years ago, despite a motion passed on Wednesday.

The Jerusalem municipal council passed the motion sponsored by the haredi Orthodox parties to close the complex on Shabbat by a vote of 15 to 10.

The final decision lies with the district committee of the Finance Ministry which could take up the issue on Thursday.

“As the person under whose leadership the station was built, Mayor Nir Barkat is certain there will be no change at the station and it will continue to operate according to the status quo in Jerusalem,” a statement from Barkat’s office said.

Under the status quo, restaurants as well as cultural and leisure activities can remain open on Friday night and Saturdays.

It is not the first time that haredi Orthodox factions have tried to shut down the complex’s activities on Shabbat.




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