‘Get me to the checkpoint on time!’

Israel/Palestine
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Palestinian groom Hazem Abu Hilal, Palestine March 9, 2013 (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestilles.org)
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Bride, “Love in the Time of Apartheid” action (photo source: wattan.tv)

Yesterday as part of the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” campaign, Palestinian activists scheduled a wedding to expose and challenge “racist laws that prohibit the reunification of families.” The wedding was supposed to take place at the Hizma checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Over two hundred guests were in procession to arrive from either direction. The bride looked stunning, the groom excited, and then  Israeli forces crashed the event with teargas and stun guns.

Ma’an News: Israel breaks up checkpoint wedding to challenge citizenship laws

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday broke up a wedding procession organized at a West Bank checkpoint to challenge Israeli laws preventing Palestinians in the West Bank from living with their spouses in Israel.

Two buses left from Jaffa and Ramallah to meet at opposite sides of Hizma checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, for the wedding of Hazim, from Abu Dis and his bride, who is from Nazareth.

Both buses were stopped by Israeli forces before reaching the checkpoint and Israeli forces fired sound bombs at guests who had begun singing and dancing on the West Bank side of Hizma, an organizer told Ma’an.

“While they were dancing and singing for the groom, Israeli occupation forces started throwing sound bombs and pushing people back. They then fired tear gas, forcing people to run away,” organizer Najwan Berekdar said.

Over 200 people participated in the wedding, including founder of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi and Palestinian author Rima Nazzal Kitana.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “100 rioters at Hizma threw stones at security services, who used riot dispersal means, including tear gas, to disperse the riot.”

What stone throwers? This video contradicts the Israeli military spokesperson:

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel law prevents Palestinian citizens of Israel the right for their spouses to become citizens of the state or even obtain residency permits to live in East Jerusalem if they do not already have residency permits.  Organizer Najwan Berekdar said, “It divides Palestinians not only geographically but nationally, socially and culturally and has a severe economic and psychological effect on Palestinian families.”

Israel’s High Court endorsed the ban last January, which makes it even more difficult for Palestinian couples to marry whomever they want.

AFP:

“This legislation deprives Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and those with Israeli citizenship the right to family reunion and rights to reside where they wish to, contrary to international law,” organisers said.

8541673925 6205e85dab zPalestinian activist march during an action against the separation policy between Palestinians living in the West Bank and Palestinians living in Jerusalem, Hizma checkpoint, West Bank, March 9, 2013 (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestilles.org)

Israeli soldiers broke up the event:

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Israeli soldiers push Palestinian activist during an action against the separation policy. Hizma checkpoint, West Bank, Palestine March 9, 2012. (Photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

The soldiers prevented the marriage from taking place. They prevented a bus of activists from reaching the checkpoint from the Ramallah side as well as preventing the bride and her entourage arriving from the Jerusalem side.

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A Palestinian activist with a sign during the Love in the Time of Apartheid action Hizma checkpoint, West Bank, Palestine March 9, 2013. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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