Wedding at a checkpoint: It all ended in tear gas
The jubilant wedding party had arrived in separate buses, leaving from Jaffa and Ramallah respectively. The bride, a Palestinain Israeli had arranged to meet her Palestinian groom at Himza. Manned by armed Israeli soldiers, the checkpoint northeast of Jerusalem doesn't come recommended on the glossy pages of Zafafi, but it was the perfect destination for a young couple attempting to highlight the arcane laws that prevent West Bankers from living with their spouses in Israel.
As expected, both buses were stopped by the Israelis before they reached the checkpoint and supporters of the wedding spilled into the streets. On the Palestinian side, guests who had begun singing and dancing were received with sound bombs and later tear gas from Israeli soldiers, bringing the festivities to an abrupt halt.
But in the long run this could be just the start. It's highlighted Israel's severe marriage laws, specifically the Citizenship and Entry into Israel law. Enacted in 2003, it denies citizenship or residency to Palestinian West Bankers who are married to Palestinian Israelis. In a country where the state has recently rolled out segregated buses, drawing attention to one of the many inequalities that persist, through peaceful and emotive protests is likely to win sympathy on social media and beyond.
Note: For their part, Israeli soldiers said that a hundred rioters had attacked them with stones and that they responded with riot dispersal means, including tear gas, to disperse the crowd.
- Israeli soldiers launch tear gas at Women's Day demonstration
- Stench of unrest and tear gas lingers in Istanbul
- Settler abuse, Israeli checkpoints and clashes: Why Palestinian children dream of a peaceful journey to school
- The revolution will be televised: The Square cuts through haze of propaganda and tear gas