Norwegian parliament accepts ritual circumcision of boys

OSLO, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The Norwegian parliament on Monday ended a prolonged public debate in Norway by accepting the ritual circumcision of male children, which are practiced among Jewish and Muslim people.

But the operation can only be done by public health professionals, reported the Norwegian news agency NTB.

Ervin Kohn, a leader of the Jewish community in Oslo, described the move as "a victory".

"Today I am very proud of our politicians and of my country," Kohn was quoted as saying.

The decision was taken to ensure that the procedure takes place in safe conditions.

Public opinion in Norway is mostly against this practice with 72 percent of respondents in a survey saying no.

Medical experts have warned that to have circumcision done in public hospitals will further pressurize the already heavily loaded Norwegian health care system, with 280,000 sick people standing in queues for medical services.

Circumcision in Judaism is performed when the boy is eight days old.

Many Muslims also choose to have their male children circumcised, usually at a private clinic shortly after birth.

In Norway about 2,000 boys are circumcised every year.

There are reports that some children die after being circumcised.