International Woman's Day in East Jerusalem Blocked by Israeli Minister

The bill was passed in the preliminary reading by 55-48 votes in the Knesset, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Yogev Bitan bill sets a time limit on the operation of Muezzin loudspeakers in residential areas, prohibiting said operation between 11 PM and 7 AM, as well as setting limits on the decibel level being used by PA systems operated by houses of worship. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked outrage during a 2015 election when he urged his supporters to go to the polls because Arabs were "voting in droves".

An earlier draft limiting volumes throughout the day had been rejected because it might have silenced the siren sounded in Jewish areas at sunset on Friday to mark the start of the Sabbath.

Moving any diplomatic mission to Jerusalem would be considered by the Arab League as an "attack on the rights of Palestinian people, Muslims and Christians".

It was not immediately clear if that version would apply to Al-Aqsa, located in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem.

Zionist Union party leader Tzipi Livni stated that "proud Israelis" should unite against a bill that would "spread hate and ignite tensions" between Jews, Arabs and Muslims.

"It's an important Islamic religious ceremony, and we have never here interfered in any religious ceremony that affects you in Judaism".

"This law will not be implemented, I am tearing it up", said Arab lawmaker Atman Ode, rising from his seat with a copy of the bill in his hand.

Government watchdog groups have called the measure an unnecessary provocation that threatens freedom of religion.

In Jordan, the official custodian of Muslim holy sites in annexed east Jerusalem, Information Minister Mohamed Momani condemned the bills as "discriminatory".

Jordan, with whom Israel has had official diplomatic relations since the peace treaty between the two countries was signed in 1994, voiced concern over the possibility of the bill being approved, slamming it as a law that could potentially violate global human rights laws and conventions.

  • Leroy Wright


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