Engagement Party Prevented Due to Disengagement

A couple set to celebrate their engagement was informed just a day before the celebration that their guests are not allowed to enter Gush Katif. Another couple was arrested in a separate incident.

Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 09:57

The IDF has decided to cancel a Ganei Tal couple's engagement party less than 24 hours before the event was to take place, even though it had approved the event weeks ago. "We invited 250 people, we paid for catering, we ordered everything - everything was approved by the IDF - and now, less than a day before the event they tell us it is cancelled," Shira Bar Shalom told Israel Radio.

"We are speaking about a private event, nothing to do with politics or entry to Gush Katif," said Bar Shalom's fiancee Amos Amir, an IDF reserve officer. "My five brothers and I are all officers in the IDF's Southern Command - they know us and they know we have no intention of sneaking people in if we said we would not. This is simply outrageous. What is behind the decision to destroy our engagement party? It is hard to describe the feeling of disappointment at having saluted the flag every year of my life, risking my life for the country, and then being betrayed by the institution I have served for so long."

The couple says that while IDF officials claim they sympathize with and trust the couple, they tell them, "It is not our decision."

The IDF spokesperson's office said that the army is unable to allow non-residents into Gush Katif at this point, but that the groom-to-be, who is not a resident of Gush Katif, will be allowed to attend his engagement.

The family of the bride-to-be, however, says they received a call informing them that they must prove that their Amir is indeed their daughter's fiancee in order for him to be allowed entry. "This is simply abusive," said Ya'akov Bar Shalom, the bride's father. "We are bringing him in one way or the other - even if it means going through [neighboring PA-controlled] Khan Younis." Bar Shalom plans on appealing to President Moshe Katzav and Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz to enable the invited guests to attend the event.

Couple Arrested During 'Face to Face' Campaign

Wednesday evening, a couple taking part in the "Face to Face" campaign, the door-to-door visits with Israeli citizens to discuss the dangers of the expulsion plan, was arrested when they knocked on the door of a police officer in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood and tried to convince him not to take part in the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. The officer called a police cruiser and had the couple arrested. The woman was later released, but her husband is still in custody. The Honenu legal assistance organization is looking into the affair.

Thursday morning, officer Eran Naim, caught on tape brutally attacking an anti-Disengagement activist, appeared at police headquarters for a disciplinary hearing. Naim's suspension from the police force followed Arutz-7's report on an incident where the officer intentionally shoved his fingers, from over the top of the head of a victim's head, into the nostrils of a person being held immobilized on the ground by a number of other officers, and then Naim powerfully, deliberately yanked the nostrils up and back, as if to rip off the man's nose.