Jordan’s Ministry of Religious Endowments has slammed Israel’s proposed ban on the call to prayer in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem. The ministry described the law as “false,” Petra news agency reported.
“Any decision on Jerusalem’s holy shrines by the Israeli occupation authority, including a proposed ban on the call to prayer, is false and insignificant,” said Abdullah Al-Abadi, the under-secretary at the ministry and Islamic Affairs Minister. “An occupier cannot make any changes to the city it occupies; things [must] remain the same without any change.”
The Jordanian official repeated that the status quo of the occupied Holy City must not be altered by the occupying power, Israel. Any attempt to change the historical nature of the city is a violation of international law, he pointed out. The call to prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque, he explained, has been made for more than 1,400 years, “and will remain in place forever.”
Israeli’s parliament, the Knesset, has approved a first reading of the bill which is backed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing government. It proposes a ban on the use of loudspeakers in mosques across occupied Jerusalem because it “disturbs” illegal Jewish settlers. If the bill becomes law, the police will have the power to arrest and prosecute those who make the call to prayer.