The National Labor Court ruled yesterday that the government and the striking Secondary School Teachers Association (SSTA) must hand over documents relating to their negotiations by this afternoon to help it determine whether its intervention is needed.

Court President Steve Adler has not yet scheduled a hearing on the government's request that it issue an injunction ending the teachers' strike, which is entering its 43rd day today. The teachers are seeking improvements in their working conditions and the education system as a whole.

"The court hopes that the dispute can be settled within a few days through deliberations," Adler wrote.

SSTA representatives interpreted Adler's ruling as implying that the judge will refrain from direct intervention in the dispute.

"If the court issues an injunction, the government will have no interest in talking to us," SSTA head Ran Erez said.

"They might even be happy to see the teachers' struggle crumble. However, if it doesn't issue an injunction, that will act as a catalyst for finance and education ministry officials to expedite negotiations and reach a just solution," he added.