After being removed by the IDF from a makeshift demonstration outpost, Palestinian Arab protesters got creative in an effort to return to the area.
Activists erected a makeshift town, Bab al-Shams, last Friday in the contentious E1 zone between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim to protest development plans announced by Israel to build 3,000 housing units in the area. By Sunday the protesters were removed, but efforts to return to the outpost have continued.
The Israeli daily Maariv reported that on Tuesday, in an attempt to fool the border police and police nearby who are in place to prevent the re-population of the area, Palestinian Arabs staged a wedding party.
The convoy was led by a decorated car with a bride and groom inside. People in trailing cars sang and celebrated the “wedding” and when the police arrived, began to break out in dance.
“Overall this is a failed Palestinian attempt to create a provocation, once they arrived at the checkpoint near the outpost we stopped them,” said a spokesman for local police.
According to the spokesman 18 Palestinians and one left-wing activist were arrested and traffic tickets were handed out.
During a weekly cabinet meeting Tuesday PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad praised the Bab al-Shams protesters, who he referred to as the “brave boys of Palestine.”
Other expressions of support were offered, with Maariv quoting one cabinet member as saying, “This operation is the first attempt at making an active Palestinian resistance, to protect Palestinian land from the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements, whose role is to isolate the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and undermine the ability to establish an independent Palestinian state on the land.”