The Givatayim municipality approved Sunday an amendment to the municipal bylaws that will allow the opening of businesses on Shabbat, referring to supermarkets and convenience stores.
The council hastened to do so before the Knesset votes on the Supermarkets Bill on Monday, which could prevent it from taking effect, as Deri stated that, should the bill pass, the status quo in cities already allowing businesses to open on Shabbat will remain intact.
Givatayim is the second city to approve the amendment to the bylaw, after Rishon LeZion did so last week.
The decision was passed with a majority of ten to three, with three council members absent.
According to this decision, businesses will undergo an examination by a public committee that will approve them according to criteria such as location, distance from synagogues and disturbance to residents.
"It is not easy to deal with this issue and the subject of religion is sensitive and emotional," Givatayim Mayor Ran Kunik said at the council meeting. "Any discussion related to the feelings of residents is complex and always leads to quarrels and disagreements in the public.
"Promotion of the Knesset's Supermarkets Bill was done without consulting the heads of the local authorities, who requested in a letter to meet with the (interior) minister—a letter that was not answered.
"The Supermarkets Bill is a terrible piece of legislation that we will all be sorry for, and will mean the transfer of power from city mayors the Minister of the Interior. It aims to impose a religious lifestyle on a secular public that is not suitable for most of the residents of Givatayim.
"We will not agree to religious coercion."
The Supermarkets Bill, which grants the Minister of the Interior the power to revoke municipal bylaws, effectively determining that supermarkets in city centers will remain closed on Shabbat, is expected to head for a second and third reading on Monday afternoon.
The bill was initiated at the request of the Minister of the Interior and Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, and will force the government to consider Jewish tradition and heritage prior to the granting of a permit to work on Shabbat.