Home > Time Zones > Time Zone News > Palestinians to Observe Two Different Local Times

Palestinians to Observe Two Different Local Times


Published 29-Aug-2011

The Gaza Strip and the West Bank will observe two different local times from August 30, 2011. This has never been the case before over such a long period of time in the history of the Palestinian territories.


Another brick in the wall: The new time barrier may further divide the Middle East.


The politics of time keeping

The Palestinian Authority recently announced that the Palestinian Territories will revert to daylight saving time (DST) on August 30, 2011 after clocks had been turned one hour backwards to accommodate for religious practices during Ramadan. However, the Hamas government's civil service bureau has since made it clear that the Gaza Strip will not follow this directive and remain on standard time until further notice. According to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency this announcement was issued on Saturday, August 27, 2011.

Although the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have followed two different local times for a short period of time in 2010 and 2008, this long-term arrangement is unprecedented in the history of the Palestinian Territories.

The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli daily, was quick to comment on the political implications of this step: “The difference over the time in the Palestinian Territories is the result of the power struggle between Fatah and Hamas.” A partly violent conflict had ensued between the two most influential political parties operating in the Palestinian Territories after the Hamas won the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in 2006. The struggle was formally ended by a reconciliation agreement in May 2011.

Time in the Middle East

The local time in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (Eastern European Time, UTC +2 hours) is currently one hour behind the local time in Israel (Israel Daylight Time, UTC +3 hours).

From August 30, 2011, the West Bank will observe daylight saving time (Eastern European Summer Time, UTC +3 hours), which will be the same as Israel local time. The Gaza Strip will remain one hour behind the two.

October 2, 2011 will see the clocks change one hour backwards in Israel to Israel Standard Time (UTC +2 hours). The country will then observe the same time as the Gaza Strip.

One day later, on October 3, 2011, the West Bank will revert to Eastern European Time (UTC +2 hours). If all goes to plan, all three territories will then observe the same local time again.

timeanddate.com will provide updates on this and other time zone news as events unfold.

You might also like

GMT or BST in the UK?

The UK is not on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year. During Daylight Saving Time the correct time zone is British Summer Time (BST). more

Business watch and one hundred dollar bill

The History of Daylight Saving Time

The idea of making better use of natural daylight has stemmed back to the time of ancient civilizations. Today, daylight saving time (DST) is used in many countries. more

No DST in most of Arizona

Arizona is an exception to the rule when it comes to daylight saving time in the United States. Most parts of the state, except the Navajo Nation community, observe Mountain Standard Time (MST) all year long. more

The Daylight Saving Time Debate

DST has become a political issue, while others debate whether setting the clocks one hour ahead in the spring has the intended effect of conserving energy or reducing road accidents. more