Police arrest 35 rightist activists in Jericho march
MK Michael Ben-Ari gives pre-march speech; rightists march to 'renew Jewish settlement in Jericho.'
Dozens of right-wing activists succeeded to infiltrate on Sunday into the city of Jericho in the Palestinian Authority, and rallied in one of the city's synagogues until security forces managed to evacuate them.
Police arrested 35 people who refused to identify themselves and passed them on to be further investigated.
The protesters said they were marching with the goal of "renewing the Jewish settlement in Jericho."
The activists who participated in the march, organized by a pro-Israel youth movement, gathered at a spot near Jericho on Sunday afternoon where MK Michael Ben Ari spoke prior to the march. Extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir was also among the protesters.
Following the speech, the activists began running toward the direction of Jericho, while IDF forces tried to stop them without any success.
The soldiers were initially forceful, hitting a protester in the face during one confrontation. However in the end, the soldiers decided to join the march in order to serve as security.
Towards nightfall, the marchers arrived at the outskirts of the city and entered the ancient synagogue of Na'aran. The activists danced and spoke of the Torah and the right of the Jewish nation to the land of Israel.
Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai, the head of the Civil Administration, spoke to Jericho's Palestinian police commanders about the issue. He asked them to withdraw their forces away from the marchers and to allow the Israeli security to take care of the problem.
MK Eitan Kabel condemned the backup MK Ben-Ari gave the activists. "The fact that they have an MK among them turns their psychosis into a much more grave issue," said Kabel.