Daylight Saving Time to be lengthened by a month

By
May 29, 2013 12:12

Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar says extra hour of sunlight will improve quality of life of Israeli citizens.

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Man looks at his watch

Man looks at his watch daylight savings DST 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/David Gray)

Daylight saving time will be extended until the end of October, as in most European countries, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced on Wednesday.

“An extra hour of light will improve the quality of life of Israeli citizens,” Sa’ar wrote on Facebook.

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He added that he had sent a memo to his ministry to change the DST law, and he planned to bring the amendment to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and the Knesset before the current session ends, on August 4, so the change will be made this year.

“The new DST is a light unto Israel,” Sa’ar wrote.

The DST extension hopes to brings an end to a years-long saga marked by disputes between secular and haredi MKs on separation of religion and state.

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who led the battle for a longer DST and proposed a bill extending it until November 1, commended Sa’ar for deciding on the change.

“After a battle that lasted years, the Interior Ministry finally understands the advantages of a long DST, until the end of October like the rest of the world, as I proposed,” Horowitz said.

The Meretz MK said he would do all he could in the Knesset to make sure the change went into effect this year.

Last October, the Knesset passed a law determining that DST would end on October 1, each year, according to recommendations of a committee appointed by then-interior minister Eli Yishai.

Before the law was changed last year, the clocks were set back an hour on a date that varied from year to year and was often earlier than October 1, as it was changed the weekend before Yom Kippur.

Yishai declined to comment on Wednesday’s announcement.

Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, praised the change, saying “it took into consideration the needs of all kinds of populations in Israel and will contribute to the welfare of the business world and all citizens.”

According to Lynn, extending DST has a significant psychological influence, because there will be more hours of light and time to spend with family.

“Every additional hour of light encourages consumption of leisure services and will increase revenue in the trade and services sector, which creates jobs,” he said.

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