Israel changes clocks back to winter time

Daylight savings time ends Sunday as clocks fall back at 2 a.m.

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Daylight saving time commences overnight Thursday-Friday (photo credit: Shutterstock)
Daylight saving time commences overnight Thursday-Friday (photo credit: Shutterstock)

Israel ended daylight savings time at 2 a.m. on Sunday setting the clocks back an hour to 1 a.m.

According to Israeli law, winter time begins on the Saturday night before Yom Kippur. Advocates of moving the clock back believe the measure makes fasting easier for those who observe Yom Kippur. Opponents cite the increased cost and danger — especially on darkened roads — of moving the clock back over a month before most of the world.

Dr Shimon Eckhouse launched a campaign two years ago against moving clocks back early and gathered 90,000 signatories to his petition. Shifting clocks to winter time in advance of Yom Kippur “will shorten quality time that parents have with their children, increase the chance of road accidents and cost the Israeli economy millions of shekels,” he said.

Eckhouse estimated that shifting clocks back in September rather than October costs Israel NIS 29 million (a little over $7 million) in electricity bills alone.

Earlier this week, MK Nitzan Horowitz darkened his Facebook page to protest the shift back to standard time, and expressed his dismay that the Interior Affairs Committee did not approve his bill to postpone shifting the clock back.

“[Interior Minister] Eli Yishai promised to extend the summer time, and he fooled everyone. My bill, the conclusions of experts, and public protests were buried in the Internal Affairs Committee,” he wrote.

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