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Netanyahu urges bill be passed to prevent Muslim call for prayers

Muslims perform the Friday Prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 22 December 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday asked the chairman of the government coalition to push the "Muezzen Bill", which outlaws the Muslim call for prayer – athan, to get Knesset approval, Arab48 reported.

The bill was shelved for about a year after it passed an initial reading in the Knesset. Analysts expected the renewal of the proposal to lead to a new coalition crisis as the bill is opposed by the ultra-orthodox Jewish parties.

The bill initially banned Muslims from using loudspeakers at mosques to call for prayer, it was later modified to include the use of loudspeakers from 11pm to 7am in an effort to appease ultra-orthodox Jews who were worried it would hinder their religious rites.

Violators of the ban would be fined 10,000 shekels ($3,000).

Read: Palestinians urge Arabs, Muslims to safeguard Al-Aqsa

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