A picture taken on November 21, 2016 shows an Israeli flag flying with a minaret of a mosque and the Dome of the Rock (R) in the background in Jerusalem's Old City. AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI
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It is 4:30 a.m. and Mufeed Shawana is rushing to Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the first Muslim call to prayer of the day rings out across the Old City of East Jerusalem.Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, had blocked the draft law in its original form for fear it would also force the toning down of the sirens that announce the start of the Jewish day of rest at sundown each Friday.But he lifted his objections after it was amended to apply only between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., limiting its scope to the first of the five daily Muslim calls to prayer just before dawn.Israeli newspaper Haaretz Tuesday reported a mosque in the city of Lod was fined 750 shekels ($193) for playing the call to prayer too loud.In a passionate sermon at Beit Safafa's mosque, Najih Bkeirat, a religious leader from Al-Aqsa visiting for the weekly Friday prayers, railed against the Israeli plans.There are more than 400 mosques in the country, including East Jerusalem, according to Israeli government figures, and implementing any law could be tough.
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