Kosher mobile device
Kosher mobile deviceYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Haredi citizens who were forced to make phone calls from their 'kosher' device on Shabbat were fined hundreds of shekels on their bill.

According to Yediot Aharonot, part of the Haredi Council for Matters of Communication conditions for obtaining approval for a 'kosher' phone line is to agree to be fined for using the phone on Shabbat and holidays.

"Suddenly I discovered that 540 shekels had been deducted from my credit card. I looked at the bill. I went to the store where I purchased the line - I pay 12 shekels a month, there is no way I should be charged such a sum," a young haredi was quoted in the report.

"What might have happened is that one of the kids touched the phone and made a call for a few minutes. They did not inform me of any such clause. I went through their advertisements. I did not see anything like this, not even in the fine print, maybe it appeared in one of the many documents received when getting a line from the company."

Rami Levy Communications, which operates the kosher lines, stated that "Charging for calls on Shabbat to kosher subscribers is a demand from the Haredi Council for Matters of Communication in our agreement with them. We are obliged to charge the kosher subscribers for calls on Shabbat (due to the Haredi Council for Matters of Communication, which does not want communities that do not follow their leadership to use their SIMs for other purposes). The issue of charging for minutes on Shabbat is known to all customers, and any customer who joins Rami Levy Communications (including in accordance with regulatory requirements) must sign an access to service form that explicitly mentions the charge for calls on Shabbat."

"The above-mentioned matter is a regulated procedure, and these cases are handled with great sensitivity. Most complaints regarding this matter are accepted and end to the satisfaction of the customer. In these challenging days, in cases where our customers contacted security, emergency, and rescue bodies on Shabbat or Israeli holidays, we fully credit the charge for these calls as a regulated procedure."