Israel News

Efrat Mayor’s Cup of Coffee With Palestinians Ends in Their Detainment

Efrat council head Oded Revivi had visited the nearby Palestinian town of Wadi al-Nis to visit a family whose six-year-old child had been killed in a car accident that involved a driver from his community. He was greeted warmly and Palestinians even posted photographs with him on social media.

After meeting with the head of the village, Revivi promised to place speed bumps in that area. The connections that he built at the time led to the visit in his sukkah this year of a group of 30 Palestinians from the Bethlehem and Hebron area.

Among the guests were representatives from the IDF and the Border Police. Col. Roman Gofman, commander of the Gush Etzion Territorial Brigade, said the gathering at the sukkah was a good start for what he hoped would be more such meetings.

Just after the meeting, Revivi spoke with a group of parliamentarians from 18 countries who were visiting Hebron and Gush Etzion. He told them that he is working to build bridges with the Palestinian villages around his settlement, because he believes that peace comes from person to person contacts.

The Palestinian Autonomy reacted by detaining the four visitors from Wadi al-Nis shortly after the visit.

“It’s quite pathetic to be arrested for having a cup of coffee with your neighbors,” said Revivi, who has turned to the media in the hopes of pressing the PA to release the four men. “I’m sorry that human rights organizations have not spoken out about this situation.” Does he really believe that human rights organizations are actually interested in the rights of any Palestinian who is not anti-Israel?

On Wattan TV on Thursday, the PA’s Deputy Governor of Bethlehem Muhammad Taha said the government, in coordination with the PA security forces, will hold these people accountable according to Palestinian law. “All Palestinians condemn the [visit], and visiting settlers is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Khaled Tafish, a parliamentarian in the Palestinian Legislative Council, added, “If they knew that there would be a punishment and that they will be pursued for doing that, then the incident would not have happened.”

If peaceful relations with Israelis are not allowed by the Palestinian Autonomy, what are all the peace talks about?

 
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