Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah's founding, in Ramallah on December 31.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Radi Nasser, the mayor of Deir Qaddis, a Palestinian town 16 km. west of Ramallah in the West Bank, is facing strong condemnations for inviting Jewish settlers to the wedding of his son.
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction decided to expel the mayor from its ranks and has called on the Palestinian Authority security forces to launch an investigation against the Palestinians who were seen celebrating with the settlers during the wedding.
Fatah said it has also formed a commission of inquiry to investigate Nasser.
The commission decided to immediately dismiss the Deir Qaddis mayor from Fatah and said it will work to remove him from his job. Nasser was elected as a representative of Fatah.
The committee also said that it has decided to deliver the names of Palestinians who attended the wedding to the Palestinian security forces so they will face legal measures.
Pictures from the wedding showing a number of settlers being carried on the shoulders of some Palestinian men appeared on social media, drawing strong condemnations from many Palestinians.
Palestinian social media users expressed shock over the presence of the Israelis at the wedding and accused the mayor and his son, the groom, of treason.
The Fatah leadership issued a statement strongly condemning the presence of settlers at the wedding, dubbing it harmful to Palestinian national customs. Calling on the mayor to immediately submit his resignation, the statement stressed Palestinian opposition to normalization with Israel.
Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh said that the participation of “terrorist settlers in Palestinian social events is a cowardly, condemnable, despicable and reprehensible act.”
The mayor denied that he or his son had invited the settlers to the wedding, which took place on Wednesday night.
“I wasn’t at the scene because I was receiving guests at another location for dinner,” Nasser said. “When I learned about the presence of the settlers, I kicked them out, together with the [Palestinian] men who were with them.”
He said that the four settlers were brought to the wedding by some Palestinians who work with them in a car repair garage.
The mayor said that despite the incident, he remains loyal to Fatah.
Hamas officials also denounced the presence of the settlers at the wedding and said it was a sign of “continued security coordination” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel in the West Bank. They called for holding to account those responsible for the presence of the settlers at the wedding.
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