Winter time

Clocks in Israel turn back overnight Saturday-Sunday

Israelis get an extra hour of sleep as daylight savings ends

A yawning dog in bed with feet and an alarm clock. (Damedeeso, iStock by Getty Images)
A yawning dog in bed with feet and an alarm clock. (Damedeeso, iStock by Getty Images)

Israel’s winter will officially begin overnight Saturday-Sunday as clocks turn back one hour, marking the end of daylight savings time.

At 2 a.m. overnight Saturday-Sunday, Israelis need to wind their clocks back to 1 a.m. again.

Daylight saving time will return officially on March 27, 2020.

The time change in Israel coincides with the EU and the Palestinian Authority, but not the US, which falls back on November 3.

In 2013, the Knesset passed legislation extending daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Before that, standard time would begin the Saturday night before Yom Kippur, so that the day’s fast, which is pegged to nightfall, would end an hour “earlier.”

Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar, Yom Kippur can fall between mid-September and mid-October, which used to mean that Israelis returned to standard time as much as a month and a half before most other countries.

As a result, the issue of the seasonal time transition became contentious, and was caught up in political tensions between religious and secular political parties before the 2013 change was implemented.

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