Israelis celebrating Mimouna, the post-Passover festival observed by North African Jews, will now be able to party all night long. An amendment lifting the noise restriction in residential areas was approved on Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay (Kulanu).
The amendment allows singing and playing music in residential areas after 11 P.M. during the holidays of Mimouna and Lag Ba’Omer. Making noise beyond a certain level is forbidden in residential areas after 11 P.M. unless otherwise stipulated. Other exceptions include Purim, Independence Day and Jerusalem Day.
The amendment permitting noise-making in residential areas with no time restriction on Mimouna, sponsored by MK Miki Zohar (Likud), had passed a preliminary reading in November. “Mimouna is a national holiday of brotherhood, friendship and merging of exiles,” Gabbay said on Wednesday. “I wish everyone a good time, this time with no restrictions.”
Meanwhile, Jerusalemites who live in the center of the city are fighting against a municipal move that could expose them to even more frequent noise hazards. The city is pushing local legislation that would enable the mayor to lift the noise restrictions during nine additional days. If passed, loud music and noise would be permitted in residential areas both during the afternoon rest hours and after 11 P.M.
The residents of central Jerusalem say they are already subjected to numerous noise hazards. Indeed, noise monitoring carried out by the Environmental Protection Ministry found higher noise levels than permitted in residential areas of the capital.
The city says that the changes were made in coordination with the ministry and are intended to enable events that encourage tourism while preserving the noise restrictions stipulated by law.
Municipal officials said other cities have similar by-laws. But the residents contend that laws in other cities don’t allow loud events to take place near people’s homes.
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