Under the plans revealed last month by finance minister Mr Yair Lapid, construction would be suspended on a number of rail projects, including the 60km Jezreel Valley Railway from Haifa to Afula and Bet Sha'an and 22km Acre – Carmiel line, which the finance ministry argues are not commercially viable.

However, Lapid has now reached an agreement with infrastructure and roads safety minister Mr Yisrael Katz that will allow work to continue on these lines at the expense of a number of road projects, which will be postponed by 1-2 years.

When the plans were announced Katz reacted furiously, denouncing Lapid and his team "poor, short-sighted and ego-centric clerks." Katz argued that compensating contractors could cost more than completing the projects and cancelling construction would also upset voters in the affected areas.

According to the Israeli press, Katz had the backing of local mayors, who called on prime minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene in the dispute.