By law, Israelis over 80 can now skip to front of lines
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By law, Israelis over 80 can now skip to front of lines

Legislation allows elderly to ask to be served first at public offices, stores

Elderly men play backgammon at a country club in northern Tel-Aviv, April (illustrative photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Elderly men play backgammon at a country club in northern Tel-Aviv, April (illustrative photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Israelis aged 80 or older will no longer have to stand in line for service at stores, pharmacies, banks, post offices and other public services, thanks to a legislative change approved by the Knesset on Tuesday.

The only exceptions will be made for disabled individuals, who will get priority over the elderly.

The Knesset passed the bill into law in its second and third readings in the plenary on Tuesday, with 37 lawmakers voting in favor and none opposed.

Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) said it was unfortunate that the Knesset had to legislate the measure, which she said should simply be an obvious gesture for all Israelis.

“From today, …everyone will make way for them [the elderly],” she said.

The law stipulates that those over 80 may jump to the front of the line upon their request.

MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union), who introduced the bill, said he was waiting for the day when giving way for an elderly person became the norm in society and legislation was no longer needed.

Illustrative: An elderly man crosses the street in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2009 (Serge Attal/Flash 90)
Illustrative: An elderly man crosses the street in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2009 (Serge Attal/Flash 90)
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