Settler leader: Obama, keep your hands off Israel
Thousands of Likud activists gather in northern West Bank to voice support for continued construction.
Some 3,000 members of Likud, as well as thousands of right-wing supporters gathered on Wednesday in the Samaria National Park in the northern West Bank, to voice their support for further construction in the settlements.
Samaria Regional Council leader Gershon Mesika, sent a direct message to the U.S. President Barack Obama in his address to the demonstration:
"Keep your hands off of Israel," he said. "It is outside of your jurisdiction. Netanyahu should stand rock solid to protect his country."
Meanwhile, right-wing MK Danny Danon also passed on a message to Obama in a live interview on CNN and said Israel has no partner for peace, adding that U.S. pressure is causing problems for the Jewish people.
Danon also said, that despite Obama's charisma this is not "Hollywood."
More than 70 buses stood outside the park as thousands of settlement supporters congregated in the park's amphitheater to listen to the right-wind speeches in a demonstration headed by Danon.
"We need to remember that our hold on Jerusalem starts here," said Likud MK Tzipi Hatovely, who came to the demonstration with her entire family.
"We will demand that the prime minister continue to build in the West Bank," she added.
Among the top Likud members in attendance were rightist Moshe Feiglin and Minister Yuli Edelstein, who both said that they hoped the talks on a settlement freeze would finally end.
Wednesday was one of the only days during the year that visitors were permitted into the national park due to security problems.
The park roads are neglected and littered and the surrounding boasts several illegal construction sites.
Some 20 minutes from the Shomron park, in the settlement Revava, MK Danon organized another rally for non-Israeli supporters.
"We don't know what the government's policy on the settlement freeze is," Danon told the participants. "It's obvious that if the policy changes there will be 5,000 people standing here instead of 1,000."
A Likud activist now residing in Istanbul, who asked not to be named, told Haaretz that he was very proud of his country: "There are brave people here who don't mind living with the Arabs. They're not afraid of anything," he said.