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Israel condemns European advice on circumcision

Friday - 10/4/2013, 10:30am  ET

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel has condemned a pronouncement by a European advisory council against male ritual circumcision, a practice that Jewish leaders consider central to their faith.

In a non-binding resolution this week, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said circumcision was "a violation of the physical integrity of children."

It urged European states to take action to protect the rights of children.

Israel's Foreign Ministry on Friday called on the council to annul the move, saying the tradition is key to "two important religions, Judaism and Islam."

Spokesman Yigal Palmor said "any comparison of this tradition to the reprehensible and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation" was both ignorant and inciting of religious hatred.

Palmor warned that although the resolution wasn't binding, it could influence European parliaments to ban circumcision.

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