Israeli authorities threaten bookstores with fines over Harry Potter launch

.- Israeli authorities are urging local bookstores not to participate in the international launch of the final book in the best-selling Harry Potter series because it falls on the Sabbath.

Stores, restaurants and other businesses are required by law to be closed on Saturdays for the Sabbath in Israel.

Trade and Industry Minister Eli Yishai, who heads the Orthodox Shas Party, has threatened to fine bookstores that participate the international launch, reported

"I urge them not to release the book over Shabbat," Yishai was quoted as saying in the daily Yediot Aharonot. "There should be limits to this desire to be like the nations of the world."

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is due to go on sale simultaneously around the world. In Israel, that falls at 2:01 a.m. on Saturday.

Despite the threat of fines, Israeli bookstores are expected to participate in the opening due to their contracts with the book publisher.


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