updated 12/1/2008 10:57:36 AM ET 2008-12-01T15:57:36

Israel has gotten fed up with spam. Anyone who sends out messages without receiving the recipient's consent can now be slapped with a big fine.

Last June, a new law gave solicitors six months to ask prospective clients if they wanted to receive unsolicited messages. The deadline expired Monday.

The communications ministry says violators can be sued for $250 for every unsolicited message. Pestered Israelis can go to court five times a year and each time file up to 30 claims against a single company.

The law applies to solicitations by text message, email and telephone.

It is modeled after similar European statues.

Public relations companies, the Haaretz newspaper and various businesses were sending out e-mails Monday seeking last-minute consent.

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