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Strike Keeps Israelis Guessing Which Services Will Be Hit Next

Israelis were left guessing this week which workers would join a strike by government employees, as work stoppages disrupted operations at Ben-Gurion Airport and radio programs among other services.

The strike by some 60,000 government workers, seeking higher wages, entered its fourth business day Monday.

The various strike committees have started a new policy of announcing work stoppages without prior warning, making it impossible for the Finance Ministry to seek back-to-work court orders in advance.

In fact, it was only when Israelis turned on their radios Monday morning did they learn that Ben-Gurion International Airport had been partially shut down from midnight to 1:30 a.m. the previous night.

Planes arriving were able to land, but no planes departed.

Those listening to Israel Radio were also surprised Monday to hear, after the hourly news bulletin, a high-pitched whistle. Switching to the rival army radio station, listeners learned that workers for the Israel Broadcasting Authority were on strike, too, and that the hourly news updates would be the only broadcasts aired.

On the brighter side, Israel Railroads, which had been on strike Sunday, was operating again Monday, apart from the main Tel Aviv to Haifa line, which was shut down for roadbed and track maintenance work.

Israelis were guessing what would be struck Tuesday. Rumors said universities were next.

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