Palestinians in the village of Abu Dis, which lies just outside of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, staged a procession over the weekend to mark the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Marxist faction and a member organization of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Dozens of Palestinians were seen brandishing AK-47 and M16 semiautomatic rifles as well as hand grenades and pistols while clad in military gear, according to Israel Radio. A number of shots were fired in the air during the festivities.
In recent months, Palestinians have increasingly been displaying firearms out in the open, particularly in the refugee camps of the West Bank, this after years in which the Palestinian Authority banned the practice.
The sight of Palestinians openly and brazenly brandishing firearms in open throughout PA-ruled areas has gradually returned to the landscape, particularly in areas like the Balata, Dheishe, and the Jalazone refugee camps, according to Israel Radio. Witnesses said that armed gunmen from Hamas and Islamic Jihad have also started to make public appearances in the Jenin refugee camp.
Unlike those areas, however, Abu Dis is in Area B, which means that security responsibility for the region falls on Israel’s shoulders.