Within an hour of being appointed minister of transport, MK Betzalel Smotrich turned up at the protest tent set up by Eilat mayor Moshe Yitzhak-Halevi opposite the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem. Yitzhak-Halevi is protesting against the closure of Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv, which is scheduled to take place at the end of this month to make way for residential construction, claiming that the closure will drastically impair travel between the center of the country and Israel's southernmost city.
Smotrich, an enthusiastic supporter of the protest against the airport closure, said yesterday: "Sde Dov must not be closed, and with God's help Sde Dov will not be closed. This is the first matter I discussed with the prime minister in this very place in his bureau, a moment after this appointment was agreed. Under the wise leadership of the mayor of Eilat, a move is underway that is certainly a mission possible.
"It is very symbolic that my first working meeting in this role is taking place here in this tent in a campaign we have been leading together for several years. Wearing the transport minister's hat the authority is not in my hands but the responsibility is certainly even more on my shoulders. We will go into this at full power. It's a just, right, moral and Zionist struggle of the first order. When you conduct a just campaign, you generally succeed. It requires a great deal of determination, and I believe that if we join forces we will succeed in this challenge as well."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 18, 2019
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