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A mosque in Abu Ghosh with its minarets towering above.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Attorney-general to Arab MKs: I'm against 'muezzin bill'
By UDI SHAHAM
02/21/2017
Avichai Mandelblit explains that in his opinion, Israel's existing noise law is enough to deal with the situation.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit opposes the “muezzin bill,” a proposal to ban religious institutions from using outdoor loudspeakers at night, he told a group of lawmakers from the Joint List on Sunday, saying he is against moving the bill forward in the Knesset.

He explained that, in his opinion, existing municipal noise laws are enough to deal with the situation.

Last week, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted in favor of a new version of the “muezzin bill” that was submitted by MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) and MK David Bitan (Likud).

It was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to delay the preliminary plenum vote on the bill for now.

According to the revised text, it would be forbidden to use outdoor speakers to call to prayer in residential areas from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

It also includes a larger fine for violating the law – NIS 10,000.

During the meeting, Mandelblit and the Joint List MKs discussed other issues that concern the Arab public, such as freezing the demolition orders in Arab villages and promoting urban master plans that enable their legal expansion. Ma’ariv reported that the MKs also raised the issues of the rising tide of crime in the Arab sector, recognizing Beduin villages in the Negev, and racist statements by other lawmakers.

Arik Bender contributed to this report.
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