Palestinian protest against music rave turns into anti-Israel rally

The Palestinian Authority security forces arrested Sama Abdulhadi, the first Palestinian female techno-music DJ, for holding a concert at Nabi Musa.

PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS take part in a ‘day of rage’ rally to protest against Israel’s annexation plan, in Gaza City. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS take part in a ‘day of rage’ rally to protest against Israel’s annexation plan, in Gaza City.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
The saga concerning a music party at Nabi Musa near Jericho on Friday took a new twist as Palestinians staged an anti-Israel protest at the site, located between Jerusalem and Jericho.
Last week, the Palestinian Authority security forces arrested Sama Abdulhadi, the first Palestinian female techno-music DJ, for holding a concert at Nabi Musa, where Muslims believe Moses is buried. In addition to stables for horses and storage areas, the site includes a 100-room guesthouse, a series of halls and a mosque.
Defying COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds of Palestinians from east Jerusalem and the West Bank converged on the site to attend the Friday prayer.

After the prayer, the Palestinians staged a protest against the “desecration” of the site and chanted anti-Israel and anti-Jewish slogans, including “Khaybar, Khaybar ya yahood, jaish Mohammed sawf yaoud!” (Khaybar, Khaybar Oh Jews, the army of Mohammed shall return)– reference to the Battle of Khaybar fought in 628 between Muslims and the Jews living in the oasis of Khaybar, located 150 kilometers from Medina in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

Nabi Musa is controlled by the PA, although it does not have a security presence at the site.
The controversy surrounding the site began last weekend, when a number of Palestinians broke up a music concert organized by Abdulhadi with a permit from the PA Ministry of Tourism.
The Palestinians accused Abdulhadi and her friends of “desecrating” the shrine by holding a dancing party and serving alcohol. Her family denied the allegations, noting that the event was not held inside the mosque.
A PA court in Jericho ordered the female DJ remanded into custody for 15 days on charges of “defiling” a holy site and “insulting” the sentiments Muslims. By mid-Saturday, more than 90,000 people had signed an online petition calling on the PA to release Abdulhadi.
Two senior PLO officials, Saleh Rafat and Tayseer Khaled, joined several human rights organizations in calling for the release of the young woman.
A commission of inquiry formed by the PA government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident held the PA Ministry of Tourism responsible for granting permission to hold the concert at the site.
The commission also held the organizers of the event responsible for failing to adhere to the coronavirus restrictions and for not taking into account the “importance and sensitivity” of Nabi Musa.

The commission, in addition, held the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs responsible for failing to assign guards to the site to “prevent unauthorized parties” from entering it. The commission recommended taking legal action against “every person suspected of criminal involvement” in the incident, including rioters who rampaged through the site, destroying furniture and other equipment.