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All the billboards on the Ayalon Freeway in Tel Aviv were supposed to be taken down as of midnight last night, after the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee did not vote on a bill to extend the deadline.

The High Court of Justice refused on Sunday to give approval for continuing the practice of displaying the huge, driver-distracting signs - a $15 million a year industry.

There are about 50 such signs along the highway, each costing an average of $100,000 a month.

An outdoor advertising company had petitioned the court, but lost its appeal when the High Court said the year-ending deadline to allow the firm to take down the signs was long enough.