Israel Internet Blackout? Israeli Government Shuts Down Online Banking Services

NewsOxy, Israel/September 16, 2010

Israel Internet Blackout? Government shuts down online banking services for the Jewish Sabbath.

Traditionally, as the Jewish Sabbath and holidays approach, the Israeli government offices shut down.

However, this season is far different. The public Internet is shutting down for the entire holiday. This is bad for consumers because the government offices that provide a vast range of public services are shutting down online payments.

The campaign is being led by Ultra-Orthodox Cabinet ministers. They want to prohibit online spending during the Jewish holy days, and this is becoming a very serious issue for foreign workers, tourists, and non religious residents.

A spokesman for the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party said "Now that the computer is the public face of the state", "public service won't be available on the Internet," Roi Lachmanovich said in a statement.

The measures will further heighten tensions as these campaigns have created a lot of resentment, and the ultra-Orthodox only make up less than 10 percent of the population.

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