Israeli, Palestinian Smartphone Clocks Bring DST in a Month Early

Cellphones on both sides of the Green Line cause confusion by prematurely switching to standard time.

Bloomberg

For the second year running, Israeli and Palestinian smart phones collaborated by confusing their respective users about Daylight Savings Time, according to Israeli and Palestinian media reports.

On both sides of the Green Line, cell phones with operating systems that were not in touch with changes instigated by their respective governments automatically moved their clocks back an hour. However, both the Knesset and the Palestinian Authority pushed back the change to standard time to the end of October to be in line with Europe.

A public school teacher from the West Bank City of Hebron told the Ma'an news agency that teachers who had "relied on our cell phones for time" rung the school bell late on Sunday morning, and that many teachers and school children arrived late because of the confusion.

Politics have complicated clock changes in recent years, with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas regime in Gaza springing forward or falling back at different times. Thus, Israeli settlements would be on a different clock than nearby Palestinian villages, and Palestinians working in Israel would have to keep track of the time difference when commuting.

This year, Israel is scheduled to switch to standard time October 26, while the Palestinian Authority will set its clocks back October 31.

On this one count, Israelis suffered equally with Palestinians. "I have a baby hospitalized in Ichilov," said one resident from the center of Israel, Ynet reported Sunday. "She woke up with a fever, and I checked the time on my wristwatch and saw it was 1:30. A half hour later I gave her some medicine and checked the time on my cellular phone, and I discovered it was suddenly only one in the morning."

Another Israeli said the errant time change cost him a berating from his wife. "I was playing poker with friends, and I promised my wife I'd be home by two at night," said the Beit Shemesh resident. "I looked at the clock, saw it was 1:15, and though I had 45 minutes. Then the other players told me it was really 2:15. I rushed home and my wife was waiting for me awake. She was not happy."

According to web surfers, reported Ynet, the problem is endemic to users who have not updated their iPhones to iOS7, or have a Galaxy 2 and 4S, an LG, a Blackberry Z10 and Android-based tablets.

The best remedy for these users is to keep their phone on manual until standard time sets in.