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Controversy in West Bank after DJ arrests for concert near sacred place

The short video, published Saturday evening, December 26, still agitates Palestinian social networks. We see a small group of about fifteen young people dancing to the rhythm of techno music; one of them even wears a mask. In the foreground, DJ Sama Abdulhadi, star of the electro scene, mixes in a black tank top under red and yellow lights, headphones on. But the party, which was held on December 26, was abruptly ended. A second video shows the eruption of several young men who shout: ” Outside, come on, ouste! “. The revelers are soon ejected from their evening.

The feast was organized in a sacred place, in Nabi Moussa, where the tomb of the prophet Moses would be located according to Muslim tradition. The tourist site, located less than half an hour from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho in the occupied West Bank, also houses a mosque. ” A disco party in a mausoleum “, Calls out one of those who interrupted the evening,” this is not respectful of religion, it is not moral “. Sama Abdulhadi was violently attacked on social media.

Faced with outrage, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called for the opening of a commission of inquiry ” to determine what happened to Nabi Moussa “. Sunday evening, the DJ was arrested and her detention was extended for two weeks. She is accused of ” desecration of a religious place “And to have” violated restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus “. The West Bank has been in lockdown since mid-December.

Deep fracture

The support of the young woman ensures that she had received the approval of the Ministry of Tourism. More than 60,000 people have signed a petition demanding his immediate release. The text claims that Sama Abdulhadi, considered by many to be the first and internationally renowned Palestinian female DJ, was working on a project to film at various Palestinian tourist sites in order to promote them through electro music. And above all, hammer the authors, everything was done within the rules.

“The government should not have authorized this event”, explains Ammar Dweik, director of the Palestinian Independent Human Rights Commission. “Sama’s arrest is unfair, he continues. The authorities knew exactly what she had planned to do, the place and the date were well specified. “

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