Light rail train in Jerusalem
Light rail train in JerusalemChana Roberts

The Jerusalem Municipality declared a general strike on Sunday as part of its protest against the Finance Ministry for withholding the “Capital Budget” to which the city says it is entitled over and above statutory municipal budgets..

Garbage collection and general municipal services will not be operating but the strike does not include the school system, which will be functioning as usual. The Municipality had threatened that “the failure to transfer the funds to Jerusalem will result in layoffs and the severe curtailing of municipal services provided to the citizens."

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat claims that Finance Minister Kahlon is taking revenge on him for his support of Netanyahu in the last elections, and as a result, Jerusalem does not receive hundreds of millions of shekels that it deserves as its 'Capital Grant' from the government.

Like other municipalities, the Jerusalem municipality receives government funding, but is supposed to receive an additional "capital city" grant which has not yet been transferred. This has to be okayed every year, allowing it to be delayed in bureaucratic and political snafu.

Barkat also claims that Kahlon refuses to allow a bill that would automatically fund Jerusalem to be brought to a vote in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, despite its enjoying the support of 51 MKs.

A similar dispute in February caused a massive strike by Jerusalem garbage disposal workers that ground the city to a halt. Huge amounts of trash piled up around the city, preventing the light rail from moving and resulting in mass congestion. That scenario is repeating itself. Jerusalem trash dumpsters are normally filled to the brim at the end of Shabbat and the lack of Sunday's garbage collection has led to bags of garbage overflowing on to the streets of the Holy City.