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Palestinian traditional dabkeh dancing a 'weapon against' Israeli occupation, says ex-minister Open in fullscreen

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Palestinian traditional dabkeh dancing a 'weapon against' Israeli occupation, says ex-minister

Palestinians have long used culture such as popular music as a form of resistance [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 April, 2018

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A former minister and peace negotiator in the Palestinian Authority has said that the traditional dance known as dabkeh is a powerful weapon against Israeli occupation.

A former minister and peace negotiator in the Palestinian Authority has said that the traditional Palestinian dance known as dabkeh is a powerful weapon against Israeli occupation.

Hassan Asfour made the comments in an interview with Egyptian news website Masr al-Arabia published on Thursday.

"Dabkeh is a weapon of resistance against the occupation. It is an essential part of Palestinian heritage that makes you feel extreme love for the nation and pushes you to struggle for freedom," Asfour said.

"All forms of art have been used, especially Dabkeh, to express joy and get away from direct political expressions to confront colonisation,"

"Dancers wear traditional clothing, preserving Palestinian history, culture and identity...dabkeh is a very powerful weapon to resist Judisation," he said, in reference to Israel's alleged replacement of Palestinian identity with Jewish identity.

The former cabinet minister said Israeli authorities have unsuccessfully attempted to wipe out local folk art since they occupied the Palestinian territories in 1948.

Dabkeh, a traditional tap dance, is normally performed at weddings.

There are numerous variations played across the Levant region, but the basic Palestinian step follows a formation of two side steps and a kick.

Palestinians have long used culture such as popular music as a form of resistance against Israeli occupation.

They have also accused Israelis of "cultural appropriation" - most famously over claims that chickpea spread hummus is an indigenous Israeli dish.

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