A group of young Palestinians on Saturday held a party inside an inactive mosque at the Israeli-controlled shrine of Nabi Musa on the West Bank, raising vociferous criticism across the Palestinian Authority.
Hundreds of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem attended the party which featured alcohol and co-mingling of men and women - both strictly forbidden in the Muslim faith.
Partygoers shared online videos and images from the party in real-time, prompting livid responses from many Palestinian users who labeled the event as nothing short of “sacrilege."
Several indignant Palestinian users arrived at the site following after seeing the posts on social media and quickly dispersed the party.
The site, which is believed to be Moses' burial place according to the Muslim faith, is the focal point of one of the most important pilgrimages to the Palestinians, who arrive from Jerusalem to Nabi Musa during the spring, and is considered exceptionally sacred.
The Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism came under heavy fire after several of the people in attendance claimed the event was approved by the ministry.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry that will investigate the events that led to the party at the holy site.
Hussam Abu al-Rub, the Palestinian deputy minister for religious affairs, said that no permission was given to hold the party.
"Our ministry (which is also in charge of the site due to its sanctity) did not give anyone permission to hold a party there,” said al-Rub in a statement. “We did not know at all about what was happening in Nabi Musa. What happened there is obscene. We will not remain quiet and persecute anyone who took part in it."
The Gaza-Strip-based terror organization Hamas also issued a statement condemning the event.
"What happened at the Nabi Musa Mosque is the desecration of the sanctity of the house of God. We condemn the fact that this was done with the official approval of the government of Mohammad Shtayyeh. All those responsible for this act must be brought to justice," the statement read.