A peaceful boom, set off by a Muslim and a Jew, echoed through Jerusalem's Old City Sunday night, ending the daily fast during the Muslim Ramadan holy month.
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski joined Rajai Yehye Sandouka in setting off the ceremonial shot. Sandouka is the latest in a long line of family members, dating back to the Ottoman rule in the early 20th century, who have fired the traditional cannon.
But Sandouka said the tradition might be in jeopardy. He said Israeli officials have ordered him to undergo explosives training before next Ramadan, or he would be barred from lighting the fuse. Israeli police would not comment on that. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld would say only that the ceremonies would proceed this year as usual.
"They are making a big deal out of nothing," said Sandouka, 46, an actor and puppeteer. "For the past 20 years I have fired the cannon, and before that I used to help my father." Lupolianski said that the city would cover the cost of his training in the name of coexistence. "Sandouka should be allowed to continue the tradition of operating the cannon," he said in a statement. "Changing the situation could cause damage to the delicate coexistence in Jerusalem."