Palestinians rage at proposed Israeli bill banning Muslim call to prayers
Palestinians have rallied across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip, voicing outrage at a proposed piece of Israeli legislation that would ban the Muslim call to prayers from being announced via loudspeakers at mosques in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Gazans and West Bank-based Palestinians demonstrated following Friday prayers in protest at the proposed bill, Lebanese network al-Manar reported.
The legislation has been proposed by Moti Yogev, an Israeli legislator from an extremist Zionist political party. The text of the proposed bill alleges that Israelis “suffer” from the “noise.”
Known as Azan, the Muslim call to prayers is broadcast at mosques throughout the Muslim world by reciters.
Yousef al-Sharafi, a leader with the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, who had joined the Friday rallies, told the protesters that the Israeli bill is “unprecedented.”
“It amounts to flagrant violation of Muslims and religions in [Jerusalem] al-Quds and occupied territories,” he said, adding that the decision, if implemented, would be defeated in the face of Palestinian resistance.
Sharafi also called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to suspend its security cooperation with Tel Aviv and start defending the Palestinian nation and the al-Aqsa Mosque — the third holy Muslim site, whose compound is incessantly violated by Israeli settlers and security forces.
In the West Bank, Palestinians demonstrated in the central village of Taybeh, the northern town of Kafr Kanna, the northwestern city of Kafr Qasim, and the Bedouin city of Rahat.
Earlier in the month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would back the controversial bill, adding that the calls to prayers made excessive “noise.”