Muslims aren't happy about the Israeli efforts to quieten the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) and they aren't holding back. Last night, two official Israeli TV stations were hacked and the full adhan interrupted their broadcasts.
This came as the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – prepared to cast a preliminary vote on the legislation, seeking to ban the use of loudspeakers for calls to prayer.
"Palestinian hackers intercept the broadcast of Hebrew Channel 2 a while ago and air the full adhan, challenging the occupation's law banning the adhan in Jerusalem. #Maazens_won't_be_silenced."
Alaraby Aljadeed reports that footage of al-Aqsa mosque intercepted the stream of Israeli Channel 2 and Channel 10 for a few minutes, resonating with the sound of the adhan.
The anonymous hackers then showed pictures of the wildfires that blazed Israel/historic Palestine last week. A message with images read "Punishment from Allah, the fires have burnt hearts, Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest)" in Hebrew.
The hackers made reference to the wildfires that erupted in Israel, destroying forests and houses and forcing more than 75,000 residents to flee their homes. No cases of death or serious injuries were reported.
Some have called the fires "divine punishment" for the legislation seeking to silence the adhan. Regardless, the Palestinian Authority sent eight fire trucks and 40 firefighters to combat the blaze.
Earlier this month, the Israeli government put forward a bill that would forbid the use of loudspeakers for calls to prayer. The legislation has been approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the Knesset on Wednesday.
The volume limitation would technically apply to all religions, but the main impact would be felt by mosques, which rely on loudspeakers to call Muslims to prayer five times a day.
The Palestinian Authority called upon the UN Security Council to stop the bill.
"Israel is committed to protect anyone who suffers from the excessively loud calls," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to Times of Israel.
"That is the custom in many European cities. That is the custom also in various places in the Muslim world, where they limited the volume of the calls out of consideration for the general public."
Arab politicians have chastised Israel's efforts, saying the bill would promote hate and incitement against the Arab population.
“Those who suffer from the sounds of the muezzins are specifically those who chose to settle near the the mosques, and… they are invited to leave if they are suffering so much,” Arab lawmaker in the Knesset's Joint (Arab) List Hanin Zoabi said.
“This isn’t Europe here. Anyone who feels like he is in Europe, and thinks this is Europe, should consider going there.”
The Israeli government has suggested legislation to silence calls to prayer several times before. But legislation has never moved forward.