Palestine

Israel bans call to prayers in West Bank town

Israeli authorities have enforced a ban on playing the Muslim call to prayers on public announcement systems at three mosques in a town in the west of the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank.

The ban came into force in the town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem al-Quds on Saturday.

A day earlier, a number of Israeli settlers had staged a protest against the Muslim religious practice in northeastern al-Quds.

Subsequently, al-Quds’ mayor Nir Barkat wrote to the city’s police chief, saying those reciting the call were in breach of the regime’s “noise regulation” that enforces limits on the volume, duration, source, and timing of “noise” in the public sphere.

The Muezzins, or those reciting the call, can now be summoned to police headquarters, be investigated, and even be found liable to fines.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces prevented Abu Dis’ locals from visiting the town’s Salahuddin Mosque to say morning prayers.

Separately, Israeli forces raided the city of Tulkarem in the northwestern West Bank, clashing with Palestinian youths there. The forces deployed tear gas and sound grenades against the Palestinians, causing breathing complications in a number of the youths.

The occupied territories have witnessed increased tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

Nearly 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since October 2015.

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