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Israeli group plans Burning Man-like event in West Bank

JERICHO, WEST BANK - FEBRUARY 17 : A photo taken on February 17, 2019 shows a view of Dead Sea near Jericho, West Bank. Palestinians' access to the Dead Sea is being blocked by wire fences set by Israel between West Bank and Dead Sea coasts. Dead Sea coasts are accepted as territories of West Bank according to the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Its surface and shores are 430.5 metres (1,412 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. It is 304 m deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

An Israeli group is planning to hold a Burning Man-style event in the deserts of the occupied territories according to a report by the Guardian.

This plan has caused significant frustration among Palestinians and dismay from other festival-goers who argue that it goes against burning man’s core principals.

Organisers say the Dead Sea Burning event has already received approval by Israel’s military for up to 15,000 people to assemble on land near the border with Jordan, the Dead Sea and the Palestinian city of Jericho. But will still need Israeli police permissions before it can go ahead in April.

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Yaron Ben Shoshan, who is a joint-lead on the project, says he is encouraging Palestinians to attend and argues his efforts are not political, although he understands why people would see it that way.

“The bad side is fighting about the area and arguing with each other and making the gap deeper. The other way of reacting is to say, ‘we have an opportunity here to show our leaders that we as people can communicate and enjoy ourselves together’” Shoshan told the Guardian.

However, Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), who is also from Jericho, said the invitation to Palestinians to attend was “an insulting statement that unveils the colonialist mentality of the organisers”.

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