Jerusalem City Hall
Jerusalem City HallFlash 90

Owners of mini markets in downtown Jerusalem are petitioning a recent ruling by city hall to enforce an existing law and mandate their closure on Shabbat. The mini market owners who stay open on Shabbat are among the only businesses in the city that do so and are claiming that the enforcement of the law is illegal.

Jerusalem City Hall sent out letters to the mini markets who remain open, warning them that the city will begin to strictly enforce the current law which does not allow businesses to operate on the day of rest.  

According to a report by Army Radio the petitioners are complaining that the "status quo" of not enforcing the law is being changed by the Mayor due to political concerns and has nothing to do with substantive considerations.

Former Legal Counsel of Jerusalem, Attorney Yossi Habilio, whose conflict with current Mayor Nir Barkat over the delay in sealing Jewish buildings while seeking a compromise were public knowledge, is acting as legal counsel for the petitioners. Habilio said during an interview that “I believe that the consideration here is strictly a narrow minded political one to appease the haredi city council and members of the haredi public in general.”  

"A shady transaction is  going on here that will adversely affect hundred of thousands of residents,” Habilio claimed.  

Approximately one month ago the Jerusalem’s Deputy Legal Council and head of fines collection, Attorney Haim Nargassi, notified Habilio that the petitions against the new enforcement of the law had been rejected, in a hearing that was held regarding the owner’s complaints.

Nargassi further told Habilio that the crackdown on the mini markets will begin on Saturday, April 2nd.