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Shas Party Quits Municipal Council

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The ultra-Orthodox Shas Party quit the City Council Thursday to protest the screening of films on the Sabbath and vowed more street demonstrations if the Sabbath continued to be desecrated. The move does not threaten Mayor Teddy Kollek’s city coalition but underscores religious bitterness over the screenings. Shas has three seats on the 31-member Council.

Deputy Mayor Nissim Zeev of Shas told reporters that “as long as the disturbances continue in Jerusalem, the Holy City, we cannot stand by and give legitimacy to all that happens.” Shas’ resignation becomes effective at the Council’s next meeting later this month.

A spokesperson for Kollek said “We are sorry to see them go because they represent a certain percentage of the population. We are sorry they cannot see that there are other citizens in this city who have desires that should be respected.” The ultra-Orthodox make up 25 percent of the city’s population.

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