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Tel Aviv fines grocery stores for staying open on Shabbat

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Many Tel Aviv grocery stores stayed open on the Sabbath even though Israel’s interior minister rejected an amendment to a municipal statute that would have allowed their opening.

Municipal inspectors handed out fines on Saturday of slightly more than $200 to the businesses that remained open despite an Israeli law that makes it illegal to open retail businesses on the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown Friday and ends after sunset Saturday.

Employees at the large Tiv Tam grocery store  wore T- shirts with the slogan “Tel Aviv does not keep Shabbat” while they worked on Saturday.

Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar late last month rejected the amendment that would have allowed some stores to stay open on the Sabbath and holidays.

 

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