Palestinian police on Monday arrested renowned DJ Sama Abdul-Hadi after she was caught on camera playing at a party on Saturday at an unused mosque in the West Bank shrine of Nabi Musa.
The party, which took place on Saturday night, featured alcohol and the mingling of men and women - both strictly forbidden in the Muslim faith. Videos of the event went online in real time and prompted livid reactions from many Palestinians who labeled the event sacrilegious.
Palestinian Authority sources told Ynet that Abdul-Hadi was arrested for her part in organizing the party, and that she has for now been accused of desecrating the Muslim faith.
The Palestinian West Bank, like many other areas of the world, is struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus, with infection rates soaring in recent weeks. PA infection rates stood at an average of some 500 daily cases in October, but that had risen by about 300% in December.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared a state of emergency in the West Bank that will last until at least January 3. The PA has also banned all social gatherings, including parties, weddings and funerals, throughout the West Bank until further notice.
Abdul-Hadi, who used to go by the name Skywalker, is considered one of the most popular DJs in the Palestinian Authority and is the first Palestinian woman in the field.
Her work has found worldwide fame and she herself is a well-known figure among the international electronic music community.
After the party, dozens of Palestinians arrived to pray at the site, which is Muslims believe is Moses' burial place, and is a focal point of one of the most important pilgrimages for Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority and its Ministry of Tourism both came under heavy criticism for the party, after several those in attendance claimed the event had been approved by the ministry.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the events leading to the party at the holy site, which is in Area C of the West Bank and under Israeli civilian and military control.
Palestinian Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs Hussam Abu al-Rub 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 will prosecute anyone who took part in it."
Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip, 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 said.