Three Palestinians arrested for talking peace with Israelis in festive sukkah gathering

Palestinians who joined a holiday gathering with Israelis hosted by Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi were arrested for mingling with “baby killers.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) arrested three Palestinian Arabs for the apparent crime of visiting the sukkah (temporary booth where Jews reside during the festival of Sukkat) of the mayor of Efrat, a city in Judea, on Wednesday, where they mingled with over 100 Israeli guests.

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, head of the Foreign Desk of the Yesha Council, the administrative body of Judea and Samaria, had discussed the possibility of peace when Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs get together in the spirit of friendship.

The PA questioned the Palestinian visitors, accusing them of meeting with murderers of Palestinian babies, Channel 2 News reported on Thursday.

The Israeli guests included General Nitzan Alon, head of the IDF’s Operations Directorate, and members of the police and Civil Administration (the Israeli government’s representative body in the Judea and Samaria).

“Yesterday we sat in the sukkah – Jews and Muslims. We ate, drank and talked about common themes and our hope for a better neighborhood and for peace. Today the PA summoned some of the Muslim guests for questioning,” Revivi told Channel 2.

“All those who pressure the Israeli government to enter a peace process with the Palestinian Authority should be reminded that they behave in a way that does the opposite of encouraging peace with their Jewish neighbors. An authority that names squares after suicide bombers and summons for questioning citizens who drink coffee and talk about peace with their Jewish neighbors is not one that promotes peace,” he continued.

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“Everyone who was present at the sukkah on Wednesday felt the excitement that surrounded this unique event. Officers and civilians, Jews and Muslims, sitting together and examining ways to create better neighborly relationships, and how to forge a future of peace.”

‘Everyone talked about peace’

The Washington Post, in a report on the Sukkot gathering, said that “one Palestinian told the guests that “70 percent of our village works in Efrat. They treat us very well and we are very good to them, too.” Another said that he didn’t want to see the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] “turn into Syria.”

Yet another said he didn’t like “being lumped together with the terrorists.”

“Everyone talked about peace. Nobody really talked about one state or two states. They didn’t mention [Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,” the Post continued. “Ahmad Mousa, 58, a contractor from the neighboring Palestinian village of Wadi Al Nis, said, “We consider ourselves part of the family, part of the people of Efrat.”

“Seventy percent of our village works in Efrat. They treat us very well and we are very good to them too,” he said.

“I salute my neighbors who were not afraid to come to our sukkah yesterday, to talk about peace, who asked to be photographed and to show the world that they are brave enough to stand up for peace,” Revivi stated.

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By: Atara Beck, World Israel News