Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz was hospitalized early Wednesday morning after collapsing overnight, just hours before he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the heads of the Histadrut Labor Federation in bid to avoid a labor dispute due to rising product prices.

Steinitz was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem after suffering from exhaustion. He underwent a series of examinations and he is currently feeling good.

The medical staff is expected to decide whether the finance minister can be released later in the day.

Steinitz was supposed to participate in a meeting with Chairman of Israel's Histadrut labor federation Ofer Eini, Israel Manufacturer Association president Shraga Brosh and chairman of the Union of Local Authorities Shlomo Buhbut, who announced Tuesday that that they would declare a labor dispute within two days to fight the price increase of basic products and to raise minimum wage.

On Sunday Eini threatened to declare a labor dispute over the rising prices saying that local authorities and some private sectors could cease operations for a full two weeks.
"We do not want to wait, when the price increase of one product seems to lead to the price increase in others," the Eini said.

Gasoline prices reached a new high on February 1 of NIS 7.26 per liter for octane 95 - 12 agorot more per liter than in January. Prices of subsidized bread and water have also increased.