Thousands of young Israeli hardliners marched, on Thursday, to demand that the government build new settler homes in E1, a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem.
(AFP/Ma’an) Police said that more than 6,000 people, including major Israeli political figures but composed mostly of teenagers, joined the march which began in Maale Adumim settlement, in the occupied West Bank, and ended at E1 — an undeveloped stretch of land, just to the west, which borders annexed East Jerusalem.
Israel has been planning construction in E1 since the early 1990s, but nothing has ever been built there due to heavy international pressure. Plans for building 1,200 units unveiled in December 2012 were quickly put on the back burner after the announcement triggered a major diplomatic backlash.
The Palestinians say that construction in E1 would effectively cut the West Bank in two and prevent the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state.
The demonstration came hours after a Palestinian protest, on the site, in opposition to Israeli settlement construction in E1. That protest was held in anticipation of the Israeli right wing protest, and Israeli forces detained one activist during the demonstration.
Photo: Right wing Israelis march from the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim
to the controversial West Bank area known as E1, on Feb. 13, 2014