An Israeli government decision to relocate a hospital ward from its planned site on top of ancient graves has sparked heavy criticism from Israel's medical community, while marking a victory for the country's ultra-Orthodox religious political parties.
Bones of contention delay hospital project
Construction on an emergency room in the southern city of Ashkelon was halted when human remains were discovered at the site.
Archaeologists determined the bones belonged to Christians or pagans from the Byzantine period. But Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, insisted they were Jewish bones that shouldn't be moved according to religious practice.
The Health Ministry director resigned Monday and doctors are protesting. The decision is expected to delay construction by a year and cost about $10 million.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.