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Video: Israeli mayor assaults Palestinian Muslims while attempting to prevent them from Eid prayers Open in fullscreen

Diana Alghoul

Video: Israeli mayor assaults Palestinian Muslims while attempting to prevent them from Eid prayers

Israeli police reportedly escorted the mayor of Lydda, Yair Revivo into the mosque [Youtube]

Date of publication: 4 September, 2017

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Israeli police pushed Palestinians in the mosque as they attempted to stop Muslims from conducting their Eid prayers.

Israeli forces interrupted a Muslim call to prayer and raided a mosque in a central Israeli city, while the mayor tried to physically prevent Palestinian worshippers from praying.

According to local reports, Israeli police escorted the mayor of Lydda, Yair Revivo into the mosque, as he attempted to stop Muslims from conducting their Eid prayers.

The mayor claimed it was due to “noise violations”.

Worshippers called Revivo’s actions “inflammatory and racist,” adding that this was one of his many "ludacris excuses to prevent Muslims from praying.”

One worshipper who was at the mosque said Israeli police “assaulted worshippers, mainly by pushing them” during the raid, adding that the mayor also “assaulted" someone who was filming the incident.

Despite the raid, worshippers continued to file into the mosque and perform their prayers.

Earlier this year, Israel's parliament gave preliminary approval to two controversial measures that would limit calls to prayers from mosques. The bills, the second of which would ban loudspeakers in urban areas between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, will eventually have to be reconciled, with three more readings required before they can become law.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu backed the bill last year saying: "I cannot count the times – they are simply too numerous – that citizens have turned to me from all parts of Israeli society, from all religions, with complaints about the noise and suffering caused them by the excessive noise coming to them from the public address systems of houses of prayer.

"Israel is a country that respects freedom of religion for all faiths. Israel is also committed to defending those who suffer from the loudness of the excessive noise of the announcements," he added.

Palestinian activist Ghassan Munair told The New Arab that the law was unwarranted and existing noise nuisance regulations could be used to find a solution.

"There is no need for a new law because there already is a law in place that bans excessive noise. Officials could apply this law by working with mosques and coming to an understanding," Munair said late last year.

"I think this is earlier to implement because you can't ban the call to prayer as it is a fundamental Islamic ritual, however, it is possible for it to be at a volume that is suitable for all."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has spoken against the bill, which has sparked outrage around the Arab and wider Muslim world, agreeing with Munair that existing noise pollution regulations could provide a solution.

If passed into law, the bill would apply to mosques in annexed Arab east Jerusalem as well as Israel, but not to the highly sensitive al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site, according to an Israeli official.

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