Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is planning to force at least eight supermarkets that currently operate on the Sabbath in the holy city to close on Saturdays, according to a report Wednesday on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.
All eight are centrally located.
The move reportedly comes as a peace-making gesture to the hareidi factions in Barkat’s coalition who represent a large population in the city.
Last week hareidi religious men protested violently against the opening of the new “YES Planet” cinema complex in the capital, even though the complex is located far from the hareidi-religious section of the city.
“I’m happy the mayor kept his word to take steps to bolster the status of Shabbat in the holy city,” Jerusalem city council member Aryeh King told Galei Tzahal in a separate interview.
“I really hope that this will be the start of a new era of keeping Jerusalem united in the truest sense of the term. That includes preserving the holiness of the city – and the holiness of the Sabbath.”
King added that Barkat had promised the move in exchange for his return to the coalition.