PA detains four Palestinians for drinking coffee with settlers in Efrat succa

“It’s quite pathetic to be arrested for having a cup of coffee with your neighbors,” said Efrat council head Oded Revivi

By
October 23, 2016 01:33
2 minute read.
Oded Revivi

EFRAT COUNCIL head Oded Revivi hosts 30 Palestinians from the Bethlehem and Hebron area and representatives of the IDF and Border Police in his succa on Wednesday.. (photo credit: SHMUEL FITOUSSI)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

In a move against normalization with settlers, Palestinian Authority security forces have held four Palestinians from the village of Wadi al-Nis since Thursday after they visited Efrat council head Oded Revivi's succa.

“It’s quite pathetic to be arrested for having a cup of coffee with your neighbors,” said Revivi, who has turned to the media in the hopes of pressing the PA to release the four men.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The residents of Wadi al-Nis were part of a group of 30 Palestinians from the Bethlehem and Hebron area who came to Revivi’s home on Wednesday, for what he had hoped would be fulfillment of the term ‘Succa of Peace.’

Among the guests were representatives from the IDF and the Border Police, including Maj.- Gen. Nitzan Alon, who at the time said that Efrat had always been a model for good relations with its neighbors.

“When we meet and talk, it is possible to overcome many challenges, even security ones,” Alon said.

Col. Roman Gofman, commander of the Gush Etzion Territorial Brigade, said the gathering at the succa was a good start for what he hoped would be more such meetings.

Just after the meeting, Revivi spoke with a group of parliamentarians from 18 countries who were visiting Hebron and Gush Etzion with the help of the Israel Allies Foundation.



He explained that he has worked to build bridges with the Palestinian villages around his settlement, because he believes that peace comes from on the ground, person to person contacts.

With respect to Wadi al-Nis in particular, he spoke of how he had gone there to visit a family whose six-year-old child had been killed in a car accident that involved a driver from his community.

Everyone, he said, had greeted him warmly and had even posted photographs with him on social media.

He met with the head of the village, and promised to place speed bumps in that area. The connections that he built at the time, he said, led to the visit in his succa.

On Saturday night, Revivi said he was unable to determine what had happened to the four visitors from Wadi al-Nis.

“I’m sorry that human rights organizations have not spoken out about this situation,” he said.

In an interview with Wattan TV on Thursday, the PA’s Deputy Governor of Bethlehem Muhammad Taha said the incident was under investigation. The government, in coordination with the PA security forces, will hold these people accountable according to Palestinian law, he said.

Taha clarified that the participants will be dealt with through legal processes, and added that what they did is not a part of his people’s culture and upbringing.

“All Palestinians condemn the [visit], and visiting settlers is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Khaled Tafish, a parliamentarian in the Palestinian Legislative Council, added, “If they knew that there would be a punishment and that they will be pursued for doing that, then the incident would not have happened.”

Related Content

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo
August 14, 2018
Egypt summons Palestinian groups for truce, unity talks

By TOVAH LAZAROFF, KHALED ABU TOAMEH