Residents of the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya inaugurated what was described as ‘the highest minaret in Jerusalem’ on Friday, Maan News Agency reported.
Activist Omar Atiyeh, who was among a number of locals who supervised the construction of the minaret revealed that “the structure was 73 meters high.”
According to Atiyeh, “the concept for the mosque’s minaret emerged more than a year ago as an attempt to emphasize the Arab and Islamic character of the neighborhood, which has been completely surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, a building belonging to Israel’s Hebrew University, and Israel’s Hadassah Hospital.”
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) March 19, 2017
Organizers chose to build the minaret atop Issawiya’s oldest mosque. Atiyeh said the minaret cost approximately 1 million shekels ($275,550) to construct, and was funded by donations from Issawiya residents.
The inauguration of the minaret came a week after Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a preliminary reading of the contested “Muezzin bill” — which seeks to impose limits on the Muslim call to prayer in Israel and in occupied East Jerusalem.
Adnan al-Husseini, the Palestinian Authority (PA)-appointed governor of Jerusalem, told Ma’an in November that the sound of the call to prayer didn’t rise above an agreed-upon decibel level, adding that Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem were not annoyed by the noise, but by the adhan as a reminder of Palestinian presence in the city.
(Maan, PC, Social Media)