Palestinian DJ said released by PA after her arrest for rave at Muslim holy site

Sama Abd al-Hadi organized dance event at Nabi Musa, believed by some Muslims to be burial place of Moses

Sama Abd al-Hadi (Screen capture: YouTube)
Sama Abd al-Hadi (Screen capture: YouTube)

Palestinian authorities have reportedly released a disc jockey who was arrested last week after organizing a dance event at a Muslim religious site near the West Bank city of Jericho.

Palestinian Authority police arrested Sama Abd al-Hadi, 30, last Sunday, the day after she performed at Nabi Musa, the traditional burial place of Moses under Islamic tradition.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, al-Hadi was released Sunday, though she was banned from leaving the country and must report weekly to Palestinian police until the end of an investigation.

Ammar Dweik, director of the Independent Palestinian Commission for Human Rights, last week asked the PA to release al-Hadi, saying she had received permission to perform at the venue.

“Nabi Musa is not only a religious site but also a tourist site,” he said. “If electronic music was not appropriate for it, the ministry should not have given its authorization.”

Palestinian and Arab Israeli rave attendees make merry at the Nabi Musa mosque in the West Bank on December 26, 2020 (Screenshot/Twitter)

Shawan Jabarin, general director of Palestinian rights group Al-Haq, slammed the “arbitrary arrest.”

Videos from Nabi Musa showed a rave held at the scene, featuring young Palestinians and Arab Israelis dancing and drinking.

The festivities appeared to include alcohol and men and women dancing together at the Muslim holy site. Most forms of Islam forbid drinking alcohol, and mixed dancing is also controversial in many parts of conservative Palestinian society.

Al-Hadi is considered by many to be the first Palestinian woman to have become a professional disc jockey and the Haaretz daily called her the “Palestinian Techno Queen.”

At the request of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, a commission of inquiry was set up “to determine what happened at Nabi Musa.”

A government official said that he could not comment as the issue was subject to the ongoing commission of inquiry.

— AFP contributed to this report.

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