Israel's High Court of Justice yesterday ruled in favor of Tel Aviv's battle to expand facilities open to the secular public on Shabbat, saying that the city can permit mini-markets to operate on the Jewish day of rest, the Times of Israel website reports today (April 20, 2017).
The ruling was hailed as a victory by the city and liberal politicians, who said it was an important step against religious coercion. However, ultra-Orthodox officials railed against the ruling and vowed to fight it and bypass the court.
"As I said already four years ago, the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa was free and will remain free," Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, said.
But Interior Minister Aryeh Deri slammed the ruling as a change to the religious status quo in Israel and "a serious blow to the holy Shabbat and the character of the Jewish people."