kiryat shmona - Dror Artzi - May 30 2011
The municipal library in Kiryat Shmona. Photo by Dror Artzi
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised yesterday that he will block the closing of Kiryat Shmona's library, community center and cultural center.

At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, Netanyahu said that "I have spoken with ministers regarding the cultural institutions in Kiryat Shmona and we have reached an agreement on how to deal with the issue so as to resolve the matter, within a week."

Netanyahu's promise averted the school strike in the northern city which was planned for today.

Last week the public library in Kiryat Shmona was closed down following the financial collapse of the community center to which it is attached. The municipal cultural center was also slated to close by the end of the month.

The date for the library's closure had been known for a full year, nonetheless no preparation was made at the city or the government level to resolve the pending crisis.

Netanyahu said yesterday that he had spoken "with relevant ministers" about the cultural and recreation institutions in Kiryat Shmona "and we have agreed on the way that I think can bring about a solution." The PM said that a solution will be offered in a week and that Mayor Nissim Malka had been informed of the developments.

Strike organizers reported that Malka gave Netanyahu a list of problems that led to the action: the need to bring industry to the city; day care centers for the children of working mothers; a solution for the housing shortage for young couples; preferential treatment for jobs in factories to those who served in the security forces; and resolving the problem of culture and recreation.

The organizers said yesterday that the mayor had been informed that the culture and recreation issue would be resolved in a week, and then he would be invited to a meeting with directors of relevant ministries for the other issues.

"When the PM of Israel promises to resolve the problems and sets a timetable, I believe him and respect his commitment," Malka said.

"If in the end nothing comes out of the promises and we see that they have tried pacify us, the campaign will be a lot more aggressive than what we had planned for today," a source from Kiryat Shmona said yesterday.