Tel Aviv Municipality orders city’s supermarkets closed on Shabbat


Mini-markets & Supermarkets have received official written notices from Tev Aviv’s municipality warning them to remain closed on Saturday or risk fines & possible permanent closure.

Larger chains say they plan to stay open, business as usual.

By Yehuda Shlezinger, Gideon Allon & Hili Yacobi


Chances are, the incoming Shabbat on Friday night will be one Tel Aviv’s supermarket owners will never forget.

A store of the AM:PM chain in Tel Aviv. – Photo: Yehoshua Yosef

The Tel Aviv municipality distributed a advance notice on Wednesday to hundreds of small stores, kiosks, minimarkets and larger chain stores such as AM:PM, Tiv Taam and Super Yuda, warning them not to open their doors this coming Saturday.

The municipality wrote that any market found having done so runs the risk of receiving a serious fine and facing stringent enforcement.

The notice comes on the heels of Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s decision not to approve a municipal law allowing markets in central Tel Aviv to stay open on Shabbat. Sa’ar clarified his position on Wednesday at the Knesset plenum, saying, “I think there is agreement that the streets on Shabbat should not look as they do on a weekday.”

A source at the Tel Aviv municipality said, “We have no choice, it’s a court ruling that already warned us in the past, and we could find ourselves guilty of contempt of court. We have a blade to our throats.”

Meanwhile, it would appear that such threats won’t have a resounding impact. The Tiv Taam supermarket chain released a response, saying, “We will continue to operate as usual throughout the weekend as well.”

Sources at AM:PM also said that their stores would be open on Shabbat, just as they always have been.


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