Israel Summer Time (Hebrew: שעון קיץ sha'on kayits "Summer Clock"), also in English, Israel Daylight Time (IDT) is the practice in Israel by which clocks are advanced by one hour, beginning on the Friday before the last Sunday of March, and ending on the last Sunday of October.
Before 1992, daylight saving was governed by the Time Act, a law inherited by Israel from the British Mandate of Palestine, which started to use daylight saving in World War II. Summer Time was introduced in Israel between the years 1948–1957, but the length of Daylight Saving Time has changed significantly depending on the year. In 1951–1952, it was enacted for about seven months, whereas in the years 1953–1954 it was enacted for only three months. In 1958, daylight saving time was canceled. Due to the global energy crisis because of the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, Summer Time was enacted again from 1974–1975.
Up until 1992, daylight saving time was operated by an order of the minister of the interior. In 1980 the authority of the minister for this matter was contested in an appeal to the supreme court. The supreme court decided that the minister's authority was indeed more limited than the common practice, as he may only decide on the dates of IDT while its operation is unquestionable. Following this decision the Knesset amended the Time Act so the minister will also have the authority to abolish IDT in a certain year.
The Law Determining the Time (Hebrew: חוק קביעת הזמן Hok Kvi'at Hazman) is an Israel law governing Israeli daylight saving time. It was approved by the Knesset in 1992, replacing the British Mandate of Palestine time act inherited by Israel. The 1992 time zone law cancelled the Time Act, and stipulated that IDT will be operated for at least 150 days each year, and that the final dates will be decided by the minister of the Interior, subject to the approval of the Knesset committee for internal affairs. In some years the decision as to which day summer time would start or end was made at the very last minute due to political haggling and this caused disruption to international airline schedules at Ben Gurion Airport. A tragicomical demonstration of the uncertainty around IDT was in 1999 when two Palestinian car bombs exploded one hour too early, killing only the bombers themselves.
Until 2005, the start and end of IDT each year was established in an ad hoc fashion as the result of haggling between political parties representing various sectors of Israeli society. Parties representing religious groups wanted the start delayed till after Passover and the end to precede Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, while the secular parties would argue for starting it earlier and ending it later. Thus, there was no established rule that could guarantee a predictable changeover in either direction. The debates about a fixed rule for determining the dates of IDT went on for years, and resulted in a suggestion that IDT will start on the 2nd day of Passover and end on the weekend between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This suggestion was rejected as it stipulated an annual IDT period of only 5 months, and yet it served as the basis of the final compromise. After 2005, the annual debate has been effectively ended.
In the past, the unpredictability of IDT in Israel became frustrating enough that Microsoft Windows stopped trying to track changes and just made Israeli time be Greenwich Mean Time plus two hours (GMT+2) (and disabled the daylight saving option). This has led to various ad hoc solutions to the problem in Windows systems and other Microsoft software (e.g. Outlook calendar entries are often off by an hour when shared, due to the lack of IDT support). On November 17, 2009, Microsoft released an update that has daylight saving time enabled for Israel. However, the date for transition back to Standard Time is set as the Second Sunday of September, regardless of the Hebrew Calendar date. Windows 7 does contain correct IDT times up to 2023, but not all software makes use of this extra information.
In 2010, due to an unusually large difference between the lunar based Hebrew calendar and the solar calendar the date of the return to winter time was September 12, which was very early. This sparked protests by the more secular public, and calls for a change in the way the date is determined. Many members of the government were sympathetic to this and at one point in the ensuing row the Minister even proposed moving to winter time just for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and then returning to summer time. In September 2010 the argument over the dates for summer time reached new heights and some firms even refused to adopt it.
On November 5, 2012, the Israeli Knesset approved the bill to extend IDT to a period of 193 days, beginning on the Friday before the last Sunday in March (at 2:00 local time, or 0:00 UTC, clocks are moved forward by one hour), and ending on the first Sunday after October 1 (at 2:00 IDT or 23:00 UTC Saturday, clocks are moved back by one hour).
If the end of IDT falls on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, then IDT will end on the first Monday after October 1.
On July 8, 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved the bill to extend IDT even further. According to the bill, IDT will begin on the Friday before the last Sunday of March, and end on the last Sunday of October.
Summer Time Dates
|Year||Summer Time Begins||Summer Time Ends||Total Days|
|2005||March 25||October 30||219|
|2006||March 24||October 29||219|
|2007||March 23||October 28||219|
|2008||March 28||October 26||212|
|2009||March 27||October 25||212|
|2010||March 26||October 31||219|
|2011||March 25||October 30||219|
|2012||March 23||October 28||219|
|2013||March 29||October 27||212|
|2014||March 28||October 26||212|
|2015||March 27||October 25||212|
|2016||March 25||October 30||219|
|2017||March 24||October 29||219|
|2018||March 23||October 28||219|
|2019||March 29||October 27||212|
|2020||March 27||October 25||212|
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