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Israel - Daylight saving time won’t be extended

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The Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday that summer time will once again end before Yom Kippur, on September 23, despite Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s decision last year to extend daylight savings time into October.

According to the ministry, the legislation has not yet been approved, which means that there will not be enough time to bring the bill into effect this year.

A Knesset committee comprised of government personnel, academics and industrialists, tasked with reviewing Israel’s relatively short period of DST, recommended last May that it should be increased from the current level of 185 days to 193 days.

Since 2005, DST has ended before Yom Kippur so that the fast finishes earlier in the day. DST will therefore end again this year on September 23, three days before the fast.

When the new legislation is finally passed, it will mean that, on average, 50 percent of the time Yom Kippur will fall before the switch and 50 percent of the time it will fall afterward.

Proponents of extending the summer time say that turning the clocks back at an earlier date leads to increased road accidents and saves the economy money due to energy savings on lighting. Most European countries begin DST on the last Friday in March, as in Israel, but end it on the last Sunday in October. The US summer time is even longer, beginning on the second Sunday in March and ending on the first Sunday of November.

In addition to the government bill, several other private members bill have been proposed. MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) has submitted a bill, supported by 20 MKs, that would extend summer time till the end of October, but it has been delayed several times in committee.

On Monday, Horowitz blasted Eli Yishai on his Facebook page for delaying his bill. “There is no limit to stupidity and indifference,” he wrote.

Two years ago, more than 300,000 people signed an online petition calling on the government to extend DST.

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