Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat plans to force the closure of eight downtown supermarkets operating on the Sabbath, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.
According to the IDF-run radio station, the mayor wants to compel these markets to close on Saturdays as political compensation to the ultra-Orthodox factions in his municipal coalition, particularly after the violent demonstrations last week against the opening of the new "Yes Planet" cinema complex.
There are currently eight supermarkets in central Jerusalem that operate on the Jewish Sabbath.
Aryeh King, a Jerusalem city councilman, told Army Radio on Wednesday that Barkat promised him that he would impose Saturday closures on the supermarkets in exchange for King's return to Barkat's coalition.
"I'm happy that the mayor kept his word to initiate a number of steps to bolster the status of Shabbat in the holy city of Jerusalem," King said. "I really hope that this will be the start of a new era of keeping Jerusalem united in the truest sense of the term, and that includes preserving the holiness of the city and the holiness of the Sabbath."