Israel Bars Bereaved Palestinian Families From Attending Joint Jewish-Arab Memorial Day Ceremony

12:00 Apr 13 2023 Israel ( יִשְׂרָאֵל0 * دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل‎ ) and Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) الأراضي الفلسطينية

Israel Bars Bereaved Palestinian Families From Attending Joint Jewish-Arab Memorial Day Ceremony
A joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony in Tel Aviv in 2018. Credit: Ofer Vaknin Published by Haaretz

by Hagar Shezaf for Haaretz
April 13, 2023

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has rejected a request from Palestinian families to enter Israel in order to participate in a joint Jewish-Arab ceremony on Memorial Day. Among those invited to speak at the annual ceremony, which is being held for the 18th time and which is organized by Combatants for Peace and the Forum for bereaved Families, are representatives of four Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost loved ones.

The decision was made because on the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, which is immediately followed by Independence Day celebrations, the Israeli military is likely to impose a curfew on the West Bank and Gallant is not eager to make an exception for Palestinians participating in the ceremony.

A spokesperson for Combatants for Peace told Haaretz that, “Gallant was spooked by the threat of being fired and is now fully toeing the fascist line. This is an attempt to ride roughshod over a previous Supreme Court ruling – ironically by someone who warned about a confrontation. The ceremony is the way that hundreds of bereaved families have chosen to remember their loved ones, and it is a precise representation of the different future that we could have here: a shared and optimistic future. Thousands of people have already contributed to the crowdfunding campaign precisely so that this hope will triumph over efforts to intimidate and silence.”

For the past three years, the ceremony has taken place online, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic, but even before the global pandemic, previous defense minister haves also barred Palestinian entry into Israel.

In 2019, the Supreme Court overturned the ban, allowing most of the Palestinians invited by organizers to attend. “The Minister of Defense must not interfere in the way in which a family wishes to express its own bereavement and sorrow for the untimely passing of a loved one,” wrote Justice Yitzhak Amit in the court’s ruling. It is not for us to interfere in their decision.”

A statement from Gallant’s office claimed that it would not be possible to allow Palestinians to enter Israel because of the complex security situation in the West Bank and since “a general curfew will be imposed on that date.”
Credibility: UP DOWN 0
Leave a Comment
Security Code:
11 + 1 =