Supreme Court orders Tel Aviv stores to close on ShabbatBy Mason White 6:27 PM June 26, 2013
|AM:PM store location|
By: Ryan Lee Hall
The Supreme Court in Tel Aviv dealt a major blow to secular residents of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv after ruling that city stores must close on Shabbat, according to court proceedings in Tel Aviv.
The Tel Aviv municipality must enforce bylaws that prohibit the operation of businesses on Shabbat, the Supreme Court ruled this week. The court ruled in favor of an appeal by food retailers in the city against a decision by Tel Aviv Administrative Judge Esther Covo, which refused to order that businesses be closed on Shabbat.
Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor, Elyakim Rubinstein, and Asher Grunis ruled that the Tel Aviv municipality must enforce municipal ordinances. “With its current behavior, the municipality, in practice enables continuous violation of this bylaw,” the ruling stated.
The decision will affect supermarket chains AM:PM and Tiv Taam, which are open on Shabbat.
AM:PM said in response: “We will review the court ruling.”
Tiv Taam said in response: “The ruling states that the Municipality of Tel Aviv has 60 days to decide on a policy that properly balances the various interests of the residents of the city. We are confident that the Municipality of Tel Aviv will adopt an appropriate policy and maintain the religious-secular status quo for the benefit of residents.”
Hiddush executive director Rabbi Uri Regev, asked the Tel Aviv Municipality to change the rules at the next meeting of the city council in order to allow the opening of convenience stores and supermarkets on Shabbat and holidays.