JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he backed a bill limiting the volume of calls to prayer from mosques, a proposal government watchdogs have called a threat to religious freedom.

Netanyahu, who spoke as a ministerial committee was to discuss the draft bill later in the day, said he would support such a move that some have labelled unnecessarily divisive.

Israeli media reported that the bill would stop the use of public address systems for calls to prayer. While the draft bill applies to all houses of worship, it is seen as specifically targeting mosques.