PA District Governor: Palestinians who visited their settler neighbors on Jewish holiday will be arrested and punished, and deserve “Palestinian condemnation”
Headline: “The Bethlehem district is investigating the participation of Palestinians in [the celebrations of] Sukkot in the settlement of Efrat”
“Deputy Governor of the Bethlehem District Muhammad Taha, together with the [PA] Palestinian Security Forces, opened an investigation regarding the reports about the participation of Palestinians in celebrations of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the settlement of Efrat, which is located on the lands of residents of the Bethlehem area. Taha emphasized in an interview with the [independent Palestinian news] agency Wattan that this position is deserving of Palestinian condemnation on all levels and that visiting settlers is completely unacceptable as the settlements are illegal and this position is consistent with the international position regarding the settlements, which considers them illegal and as being located on occupied lands.
Hebrew media outlets published details regarding the participation of Palestinians in the celebrations of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the settlement of Efrat. The Ma’ariv Hebrew newspaper said that 110 Muslim heads of villages visited the sukkah of Mayor of the settlement of Efrat Oded Revivi for the holiday of Sukkot, and that the village heads who visited the settlement of Efrat were from Hebron, Wadi Al-Nis, and Bethlehem, as well as representatives of the Al-Khader municipality.
Taha clarified that the participants will be dealt with according to the law, and that what they did is not part of the national culture and education of our people. Likewise, he explained that this participation constitutes a dangerous and unacceptable phenomenon, and that the matter will be dealt with by the district, the Palestinian Security Forces, and the Palestinian factions and forces.
Regarding information the district has on the participants, Taha said: ‘We have information on the participants, and they are not village heads as reported in the Hebrew media, but rather a group of people, some of whom do not live in our area and work in settlements and Israeli areas, and some of them do not enter the Palestinian areas. Some of them are here, and we will deal with them according to Palestinian law.’...
Taha clarified that it is fitting not only to boycott the goods of the settlers, but [also] the settlers themselves, and not to allow dealing with them, as that gives legitimacy to their presence in the Palestinian areas.
Taha emphasized that there is popular responsibility to boycott the settlers and the settlements, and that what happened is not at all connected with the national culture. Likewise, he related to what the Hebrew media noted about the number of participants, which is exaggerated, as they did not number more than 10 people, and not as was noted in the Hebrew media, and none of them holds an official position…
Taha emphasized that the district, in coordination with the [PA Security] Forces and after the completion of the investigations, will hold those same people accountable according to Palestinian law.”