Knesset bans alcohol sales after 11 p.m.

New law passed unanimously applies to stores; not pubs, restaurants.

alcohol teens 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
alcohol teens 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset on Tuesday approved a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol at stores between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The law was passed unanimously by thirty-eight MKs.
Restaurants and pubs will not be obliged to abide by the new law, but kiosks, gas station convenience stores, markets  and pharmacies will be subject to the prohibition.
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Vendors violating the law will face a minimum penalty of NIS 9,000.
The new measure was a combination of bills introduced by the government led by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and private legislation initiated by Likud MKs Haim Katz and Yariv Levin, Israel Beiteinu MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov, MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), Avraham Michaeli (Shas) and Muhammad Barakei (Hadash).
The law also allows police to seize alcohol being consumed in public and pour out the contents of bottles.
When the cabinet voted to send the bill to the Knesset floor in late 2009, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was strongly supportive of the measure, given rising alcohol consumption among Israeli teens and children.
Netanyahu said the measure was part of a war on alcoholism stating that, "according to the World Health Organization, Israel is second in the world in consumption of alcohol by 11 year-olds, and the rate of consumption among 15-to-17-year-olds is over 50%. We are at the onset of an epidemic. We are in need of this legislation promptly. Israel awaits it."