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Daily Israel Report

Government Bans Smoking at Western Wall

People going to the Western Wall for HaShem to accept their prayers will find smoking is not acceptable, the government ordered.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/2/2012, 3:38 PM

Worshippers at the Western Wall: No Smoking
Worshippers at the Western Wall: No Smoking
Reuters

People going to the Western Wall for HaShem to accept their prayers will find smoking is not acceptable, the government ordered Wednesday in an expansion of its anti-public smoking program.

The Knesset Health Committee, headed by Likud Knesset Member Chaim Katz, approved new prohibitions to take effect in 30 days that will comfort non-smokers who cough away while smokers puff away.

The new restrictions will include covered bus stops, train platforms, swimming pool areas and places of entertainment. Public smoking areas in restaurants and social halls will be limited to 25 percent of the total space, but no more than 15 square meters.

Bus drivers will also not be allowed to smoke before passengers board the vehicles.

However, the committee stopped at prohibiting smoking at stadiums, a move that would likely be met by howls of protests and would be difficult to enforce.

The association of Israeli restaurants protested the new restrictions, but Health Ministry director Prof. Roni Gamzu cut him short and said, “You have to protect the children.”

Committee chairman Katz stated, “We are significantly reducing the damage of smoking, but we must not exaggerate. there is a smoking public in Israel that we have to serve, also.”