Residents of a Palestinian town near Occupied Jerusalem raise money to extend height of minaret for all Israelis to see

The Arba’een mosque in the town of Isawiya, just on the outside of Occupied East Jerusalem has constructed the highest minaret in Palestine.

The minaret is a whopping 74 metres high and it cost $330,000 (Dh1.2 million) to build.

Originally, the minaret was commissioned to be 50 metres tall, but after the Israeli Knesset began discussions on restricting the call to prayer in late 2016, the town’s residents raised money to extend the height of the tower.

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“We wanted the minaret to be visible to the surrounding Israeli colonies and the IDF military camp,” project manager Omar Attiyiah told Gulf News.

Extension of the state-of-the-art minaret began in November 2016. It is equipped with a $40,000 sound system and decorative lights.

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Palestinian Christian engineers helped set up the sound system, which Attiyah called “a symbol of Muslim-Christian brotherhood”.

The call to prayer can now be heard just one kilometre from Al Haram Al Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam.

Palestinians describe the Knesset bill to restrict call of prayer as ‘racist’ and say it is part of a systematic Israeli campaign to erase Palestinian and Muslim identity.

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The “muezzin bill” received preliminary approval in the Knesset on March 8 but it needs to pass two more hearings to become law.

Palestinians living in the 1948 areas say they will install speakers on their rooftops to transmit the Fajr call to prayer in defiance to the bill.

Israeli former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the true purpose of the law was to destroy ties between Jews and Palestinians.

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“The muezzin bill is not meant to prevent noise, but rather to spread hatred,” she said, adding that the legislation was a “stain and grave attack on Israel’s social fabric.”

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Palestinian citizens are the indigenous people of Palestine who were expelled or forced to flee by invading Jewish militias in 1948.