Hamas blasts 'Muezzin Law'

Deputy Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh warns the Muezzin Law will face "stiff resistance".

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas on Friday denounced the “Muezzin Law”, which passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset this week, warning the law would face “stiff resistance”.

"This decision will not pass," deputy Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said after Friday prayers in Gaza.

"Our people and nation will raise the Azan all over the world," he said, using the Arabic word for the Muslim call to prayer, according to AFP.

The “Muezzin Law” was originally to have been applied during all hours of the day, but haredi parties objected to its original wording, fearing that it could be used to silence the Shabbat sirens which announce the beginning of the Sabbath each Friday, joined with the Arab parties in opposing the bill.

The new version of the law would only affect calls to prayer issued at night, as it says that any house of prayer using outdoor loudspeakers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. would be liable to pay a fine of at least 5,000 shekels ($1,333).

The bill was approved after a heated discussion in the Knesset on Wednesday, that turned into shouting matches between ruling coalition members and Arab lawmakers, who are opposed to the law.

The Palestinian Authority has expressed its opposition as well, with chairman Mahmoud Abbas warning the bill “would drag the area to disaster.”

MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) has called on the Arab public to disobey the law should it pass.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)