The Shabbat wars are heating up once again after the leaders of the haredi political parties sent a letter to the prime minister on Wednesday demanding that he block a bylaw proposed by the Tel Aviv Municipality allowing larger numbers of shops to be open on Shabbat. The High Court of Justice is scheduled to hold a hearing on petitions from both sides of the Shabbat divide later this month, and the state has until the end of the week to submit its response.

At the same time, a government committee deliberating on Tel Aviv’s proposed bylaw has submitted its recommendations to the government, although no decision has yet been taken on the options presented to it. The Tel Aviv Municipal Council approved the bylaw allowing greater numbers of grocery stores to open on Shabbat back in August 2014. However, not one of the interior ministers since that time has given the required stamp of approval to the new law.