Israel/Palestine: Dutch street band attacked with tear gas




Dutch street band attacked with tear gas

During their performance in the Palestinian village Kufr Qadum in northern West Bank, the street orchestra Fanfare van de Eerste Liefdesnacht (The First Night of Love Brass Band) from the Netherlands was attacked with tear gas by the Israeli army, reported Palestine News Network on 29 July 2011.

According to the news network, the 25 musicians were confronted with tens of Israeli soldiers who shot tear gas cannisters from behind their military jeeps during the musical performance. They then found themselves surrounded with snipers. Several members of the band suffered from tear gas inhalation.

The Dutch music orchestra has travelled around the West Bank for a duration of two weeks to perform in towns, villages and refugee camps. They were invited by the town council of Kofr Qadum to perform in the village.

A member of the orchestra explained to Freemuse in an e-mail:
“We took part in a demonstration that takes place every week after the Friday prayers and usually is without violence. The immediate aim of this demonstration is to communicate with the Israeli: about getting better access to the olive orchards of the villagers and having access to the mainroad to Nablus again, also for people of Kofr Qadum. The major part of these orchards is under the rule of the Israelian army, and the villagers have only limited acces to their fields, this leading to sharply reduced income. The road can only be used by Israeli settlers and is blocked and checked by the Israeli army.
Our contribution was playing music during the demonstration and so express solidarity. Our second intention was to decrease tension (one of the original iedeas behind the creation of our band). This time the Israelian army decided to teargas the demonstration. We don’t know why, neither did the organiser of the demonstration (the deputy major of Kufr Qadum). Maybe they got excited by our music, which was not our intention.
We were hardly wounded, but it was a frightening experience for most of us.”

25 years around the world
Inspired by composer and musician Merlijn Twaalfhoven and Musicians without Borders, the band has performed in refugee camps and with local dancers, young circus artists, and theatrical performers. Also, the band is invited to a perform at a festival of a Fair Trade cooperative.

For over 25 years the Fanfare has been performing at festivals, concerts and celebrations of all kinds around the world — from Great Britain to Romania, from Turkey to Cuba.


Palestine News Network – 29 July 2011:

‘Israeli Army Attacks Dutch Music Orchestra with Tear Gas’

More information on this topic

The band’s official home page:

Google Search – continuously updated:

Search: “Fanfare van de Eerste Liefdesnacht”

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