Knesset to vote on controversial ‘mini-market’ bill that will enable shutting down stores on Saturdays

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the vote on the controversial bill that may prevent convenience stores from opening on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, will take place on Monday. The vote has previously been postponed due to a lack of a coalition majority.
Netanyahu Photo Credit: GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the vote on the controversial “mini-market” bill will take place on Monday. According to the proposal, any municipality that wishes to pass a local law to open stores on Saturday, the Jewish day of rest, must obtain the approval of the Israeli Interior Ministry.

The vote on the bill, which is part of a compromise deal between Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox parties, was postponed last week because the coalition lacked a majority for the vote. The move has been stirring controversy in Israeli politics during the past week, as Interior Minister Arie Deri of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party has been pushing the proposal despite Yisrael Beytenu’s rejection of the bill.

Head of the Israeli Labor party Avi Gabay said that the “mini-market” law harms the lifestyle of millions of citizens in the country.  “[The bill] harms the right of every community to choose the nature of its Sabbath,” said Gabay. “It harms small businesses. It harms anyone who doesn’t have a vehicle and not able to reach a gas station.”



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