Seeking Annulment of Regulations Forcing Arab Business Owners in Akka to Close their Shops on Saturdays.

HCJ 4326/07, Elias Daw, et al. v. The Municipality of Akka, et al.

Petition filed in 5/07, demanding the cancellation of an amendment to municipal regulations introduced by the Akka Municipality in October 2002 that prohibits business owners in mixed neighborhoods with a Jewish majority in Akka from opening their places of trading on Saturdays. Adalah argued that forcing all businesses in mixed neighborhoods to close on Saturday is unconstitutional, breaches the principle of equality, and violates the constitutional rights of Arab citizens living in Akka, including the rights to freedom of employment, freedom of religion and conscience, and freedom from religion. Adalah stressed that Saturday is not a day of rest for Arabs living in Akka, Muslims and Christians alike, and not a day which they can take advantage of socially, and that the regulations could damage their income unless they open their businesses on their traditional day of rest. Adalah further argue that the Knesset has enacted laws to govern the weekly days of rest and closures of businesses on Saturdays. Israeli law stipulates an obligation that the days of rest for each religious group should be determined separately. Thus, Arab citizens living in mixed cities, such as Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Ramle, Led (Lod) and Haifa are not obliged to close their places of trade on Saturdays, according to Israeli law.

H.C. 4326/07, Elias Daw, et al. v. The Municipality of Akka, et al. (case pending)