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Israeli bills to legalise Jewish outposts and ban call to prayer ‘postponed’

Knesset, the Israeli parliament [Zeevveez/Wikipedia]

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has postponed voting on the bill to legalise Jewish settler outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, local media outlets have reported. The vote is now expected to take place next Monday.

One of the outposts which will be affected by this bill is Amona, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The Israeli Supreme Court decided that it must be demolished by 25 December but the proposed law will grant it a reprieve.

According to Israel’s Ynet News, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has pulled back from supporting the bill and a number of coalition members are abroad so would have been unable to vote on the day originally scheduled for the vote to take place.

Voting on another bill proposing a ban on the Muslim call to prayer using loudspeakers in the occupied territories has also been postponed, in this case until next Wednesday.

The chairman of the ruling coalition David Bitan, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, has apparently been tasked with ensuring that the required majority of votes will be available to approve both bills.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has criticised the ban on the call to prayer, describing it as “shameful”. His Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, claimed that, if passed, the bill would drag the whole region towards a “real disaster”.

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