Days of Palestine

Saturday, June 10

Israel pledges to vote on bill banning athan next week

Days of Palestine -

Israeli Knesset postponed on Wednesday voting on bill banning Muslim call to prayer using loudspeakers in Palestinian territories.
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The vote on the bill, which aroused global criticism of Israeli restrictions on religious freedoms, was set on next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, another bill legalising Jewish settler outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in the occupied Palestinian territories, was also postponed.

Israeli media reported that the vote was postponed to the next week on 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.

Vote on the outpost bill was postponed to Monday because Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has pulled back from supporting the bill and a number of coalition members were abroad and they had been unable to vote on the day originally scheduled for the vote to take place.

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 when they are put for vote next week.

The bill of on the athan aroused much criticism. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has criticised the ban on the call to prayer, describing it as “shameful.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned, if passed, the bill would drag the whole region towards a “real disaster.”