Israel Briefs – November 12, 2014

TA Court Allows Stores to Open on Shabbos

The Tel Aviv Local Affairs Court on Tuesday overruled outgoing Minister of the Interior Gideon Saar’s directive to restrict the number of businesses allowed to operate on Shabbos.

Judge Aviam Barkai said that because Saar did not respond in time to the amendment to the municipal bylaws allowing supermarkets to open, and did not give Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai a hearing in the matter, the new bylaw was valid, Globes reported. The ruling also cast doubt whether the municipality can continue to levy fines on businesses operating in on Shabbos.

Import Tax Exemption Raised

The Ministry of Finance has raised the total import tax exemption on personally imported products from $325 to $500.

The order stipulates, however that the goods are imported by mail or air delivery, intended for the recipient’s own use, and the amount of the transaction does not exceed $500. The exemption does not apply to tobacco and alcohol products or intoxicating beverages.

Tel-Aviv-Boston Direct Flights

El Al will begin direct flights between Ben Gurion Airport and Boston’s Logan Airport next year. The Tel Aviv-Boston route is expected to begin in June with three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flights are scheduled to depart Israel at 12:30 a.m. and arrive in the U.S. at 5:45 a.m. The Boston-Tel Aviv flights will leave at 9 p.m. the same day and arrive in Israel the following day at 3:05 p.m. The route will be serviced by 218-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

Hamas Tunnel Engineer Indicted

Israel’s Southern District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed an indictment against Hamas’ infiltration tunnel engineer, Akram Juda. Juda is accused of overseeing  electricity in Hamas’ Gaza tunnel network, and that he was involved in constructing rockets and bombs.