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Israelis flock to ‘Harry Potter’ launch

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Hundreds of Israelis flocked to the controversial Shabbat launch of the new “Harry Potter” book.

Two Israeli bookstores held launches for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in Tel Aviv and Ga’ash at 2:01 a.m. Saturday, in sync with the global release of the seventh and last tale of the boy wizard invented by British author J.K. Rowling.

The launches were held despite threats by Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai, head of the religious Shas Party, to fine bookstores for doing business on the Sabbath. Hundreds of avid readers, most of them children and many of them dressed as characters from the Harry Potter series, lined up for hours in anticipation of what is expected to be the fastest-selling book in history.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is currently available only in English. The Hebrew translation is due out in December.

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