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Thousands of right-wing activists march to illegal Jewish settlement, joined by right-wing Knesset Members Ben Gvir and Smotrich

The rally seeking legalization of the settlement adds pressure to security forces, coalition

Jews march to the Evyatar outpost, near Nablus, during the Passover holiday, Apr. 10, 2023. (Photo: Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

Thousands of right-wing activists and members of right-wing political groups marched to the illegal settlement of Evyatar on Monday afternoon in a demonstration called “Return to Evyatar.” 

The group, which had a heavy security detail, were joined by Knesset members, including Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who are staunch defenders of Jews residing in the birthplace of the Jewish people and who campaigned on promises to legalize settlement activity. 

While there were different reports regarding the number of people participating in the march, most media outlets estimated approximately 17,000-20,000 attendees. 

Dir.-Gen. of World Betar Yigal Brand, who previously served as the chief-of-staff of the Office of the Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and director-general of the Zionist Council, spoke at the rally. 

“After the repeal of the [2005] Disengagement Law, the time has come to establish the communities of Samaria,” Brand stated. “This is the decisive answer to the terror raging in the streets of Israel.” 

Ben Gvir also spoke on the permanent presence of Jews in the nation, even in the face of terrorism.

“We are not surrendering to terrorism, neither in Evyatar nor in Tel Aviv. We are here and we will stay here,” he said, adding, “We will do everything in the government as soon as possible in order to establish Evyatar legally.” 

Smotrich made similar statements. 

“Tens of thousands came here demanding the continued establishment of settlements – God willing, Evyatar will soon be settled. This place will be a bustling place and more settlements will be regulated. This is our country, and we will continue building the country,” Smotrich said. 

Not all the rally participants were happy to see Ben Gvir, with some shouting at him to “go home” and emphasizing the fatal acts of Palestinian terrorism that have targeted Israelis in recent weeks.  

“We are afraid to drive on the roads. People are being killed here every day,” they shouted at Ben Gvir. “Go home, you’ve come to spin us." 

The march organizers followed procedure to receive approval for the rally. However, some members of Israel's security were not pleased that so many soldiers would be guarding the march, particularly during a time of increased attacks and tensions in the area. 

One security official told N12 news, “Although the procession was approved by the relevant authorities, we are already in a different situation and a wave of terror – it will require the security forces to assign fighters who are supposed to be on other missions.” 

Security personnel continue to hunt for the shooter responsible for Friday’s attack on British-Israelis Leah (Lucy), and her daughters Maya and Rina Dee. 

“There were more than 20 nationalist crime incidents over the weekend that challenged the security forces, which were already deployed and tense from end to end,” according to security sources. “The incidents of nationalist crime only bring more terror and divert the security forces from the main task of pursuing the terrorists.” 

As the group marched, Palestinians in nearby villages began to burn tires in protest. In the nearby town of Beita in the West Bank, dozens of Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli security forces. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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