Jordan Valley Settlers Protest Jewish Activists' March on Jericho

Settlers fear backlash after eight Israelis arrested trying to enter the Palestinian-controlled West Bank city.

Dozens of residents of Jordan Valley kibbutzim and moshavim demonstrated near Jericho on Saturday night to protest the attempts of a group of rightists to enter the city which is under full Palestinian control.

On Saturday, eight rightist activists were detained by security forces as they tried to enter Jericho but a number of others succeeded in evading arrest.

Jordan Valley protest Nov. 13, 2010
Jordan Valley residents protest against rightist activists near Jericho, Nov. 13, 2010.

In recent months, rightist activists have engaged in a campaign to "renew Jewish settlement" in Jericho. They've conducted public relations efforts and have made unauthorized visits to an ancient synagogue in the city. The activists claim that the visits are permitted under the Oslo Accords.

On Saturday night, numerous residents of Jordan Valley kibbutzim and moshavim protested the activities of the rightist activists.

"We don’t want people who don’t live in this area entering places here, destroying our relationships with our neighbors and leaving behind scorched earth," said one protester, a resident of Kibbutz Almog. "They set fire to the atmosphere. We have peace with the Palestinians here. All of these various war-mongers should go home."