A group of Israeli right-wing anti-pullout protestors started a day-long rally opposite to the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office in West Jerusalem, in the early hours of on Monday morning, Israeli sources reported.
The Yesha Council received permission from the Jerusalem District commander Ilan Franco to hold a demonstration.
The rally began at 12:00 A.M. and is expected to will continue throughout the day, as the Israeli government votes on the second phase of the evacuation of Gush Katif settlements.
There were two conditions set by the police for granting the protestors permission to rally.Ã‚Â The first is to start the protest at midnight and end by 5 P.M. Monday.Ã‚Â The police requested that the road that leads to the government building campus will be closed to traffic.Ã‚Â Secondly, the police conditioned that no more than 20,000 protesters were allowed to participate in the demonstration; and protesters cannot leave the site of the demonstration to block traffic, especially when Ministers arrive to the cabinet meeting.
Safety of the Israeli ministers topped the list of concerns by the police before granting permission for the demonstration.
Jerusalem police deployed thousands of officers on the site for public security, and vowed sever reaction to any attempt to disrupt the government meeting.
Yet, the Yesha Council still insist to lead the protestors to the Gush Katif settlements in the Gaza Strip to thwart the pullout which has already started early on Monday.
Israel plans to withdraw from all the Gaza Strip settlements and four minor settlements in the north of the West Bank.Ã‚Â In exchange, Israel received U.S. recognition of the current route of the separation wall built mostly on the West Bank land, and U.S. recognition of major settlement blocs in the West Bank and no return to the 1967 internationally recognized borders and no return to the refugees.
Despite all that, the state of Israel is facing a serious opposition to this step, on both official and public levels.