The war on alcohol consumption in Israel is gaining momentum. The Knesset plenum today passed a law in its second and third reading that will prohibit the sale of alcohol at shops and kiosks between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am.
The bill was approved unanimously, with no opposition and no abstentions.
On Monday, the joint committee of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee and the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee rejected the bill to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in businesses next to gas stations at all ours of the day. Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) proposed the bill in order to prevent young adults stopping for gas from loading up on alcohol as well.
However, under pressure from the gas stations and adjacent businesses, the committee was ultimately convinced that a sweeping prohibition puts the gas station businesses at an unfair disadvantage and unjustly harms competition. This was made out of consideration for the fact that in many urban centers, alcohol can be obtained at stores and kiosks not far from the gas stations.
The suggestion to remove duty free shops from the law’s reach was made by MK Carmel Shama (Likud), a member of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee.
MK Shama said on Thursday, “The law’s objective is to make it more difficult to obtain intoxicating beverages as part of the war on crime in recreational spots and lethal driving under the influence of alcohol. The law is not meant to make it difficult for customers traveling abroad who purchase alcohol at the duty free because of the relatively inexpensive prices. The State cannot punish them for choosing to fly at night.”