Israel's Daylight Saving Set to Start, With Bill Still Pending on Duration

Interior Ministry announces clocks will be turned back on September 23, as per existing law, instead of after Yom Kippur, as per Kehat Committee recommendation.

Daylight saving time will begin this Friday, with the clock moved one hour forward at 2 A.M., but despite a committee's recommendation to extend it through October 1st, it will be shortened by a week.

The Kehat Committee, set up by Interior Minister Eli Yishai last summer following a petition signed by 300,000 people, recommended that daylight saving time would continue until October 1st. Yishai said he accepted that conclusion, but nonetheless, the Interior Ministry announced that the clock would be turned back on September 23rd, two days before Yom Kippur, as per existing law.

Sunbathers at Achziv Beach on the northern coast.
Yaron Kaminsky

A ministry spokesman explained that a new bill, based on the committee's recommendations, has yet to be approved by the Knesset and will be submitted during the summer session - meaning it can't take effect this year.

The new legislation was officially publicized on July 4, 2011, and the Interior and Environment Committee debated it on February 28, along with three private bills.

Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz ) submitted legislation that would have daylight saving time continue until the end of October, while Ronit Tirosh (Kadima ) suggested that it last until October 15th. Tirosh agreed to compromise, but Horowitz and the Interior Ministry representative involved refused to do so, whereupon all sides agreed to hold a meeting with Yishai. That meeting has not yet taken place.

The bill under discussion states that daylight saving time should last for 193 days, instead of 185 days as is the case today: from the Friday before the last Sunday of March, until the first Sunday after October 1st.

When the Kehat Committee was created Yishai declared that he "likes daylight saving time, but one must review its effectiveness from an economic and social point of view and take into account geographical and social characteristics of Israeli society."