Israeli-Arab man arrested for holding wedding celebration on Jerusalem highway

The wedding occurred three months ago but gained attention this week after a video obtained by Im Tirtzu's Arab Desk was published on their social media.

  (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

An Israeli-Arab man from east Jerusalem was arrested on Monday for conducting his wedding reception in the middle of Begin Highway in Jerusalem. The celebration, which was held three months ago, blocked the road and disrupted traffic in the area. 

The incident received little attention until this week when Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk published videos of the celebration on Facebook and Twitter, where it quickly gained 110,000 views. Im Tirtzu tagged Israeli police and called for them to act. As a result, the groom was arrested and a statement from Israeli police was released:

"Following online publications of a video that shows cars wildly blocking a Jerusalem road while severely disrupting traffic, we wish to clarify that the incident occurred some three months ago, and as a result tickets were given to nine drivers who were present and blocked traffic. In addition to traffic enforcement, the Israel Police is examining taking criminal action against the host of the event.”

The police statement also addressed the arrest of the groom: “The host of the event through which the offense was committed, who was present on the scene, was arrested on the suspicion of violating public order and was brought to the police station for investigation."

BEGIN HIGHWAY will finally be getting a separate public transportation lane. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)BEGIN HIGHWAY will finally be getting a separate public transportation lane. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Im Tirtzu’s Arab desk responded with a statement indicating that they feel the actions taken by police are insufficient. "It is very troubling that three months have passed since the outrageous scene in which a major Jerusalem highway was wildly blocked by Arab residents, and only now the Israel Police is investigating the matter. If we wouldn't have publicized the video, it seems that the incident would've passed in utter silence. Israel is not the Wild West. The police have our support and need to send a clear message that such criminality will not be tolerated."