Daylight-saving time will continue until the end of October this year, after the bill extending it became law Monday night.

“The nation can smile, because more hours of light means more happiness,” Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said when the bill passed with 73 in favor and 15 opposed.

The legislation sets DST as beginning the Friday before the last Sunday of March and ending the last Sunday in October.

“There is no reason to shorten DST by two weeks.

Other Middle Eastern countries already matched their DST to that of Europe,” Sa’ar explained.

Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) said that “an extended DST will prevent traffic accidents and save lives.”

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who initiated the legislation in the last Knesset, said afternoon hours are busy for most people, and having more hours of daylight is essential.

In a committee discussion of the bill last week, UTJ MKs opposed the change, explaining that it will force people to pray before sunrise, which is religiously problematic, because the sun will rise after 7 a.m. for part of October.

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