Right-wing activists gather in Jerusalem to ‘overthrow the evil government’

Thousands of people demonstrated against the government in front of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office in Jerusalem on Thursday evening.

Religious Zionism representatives Bezalel Smotrich, Itamar Ben Gvir and Simcha Rothman, and Likud representative Shlomo Karhi were among several opposition lawmakers and officials who spoke at the protest, which was led by Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan. was organized.

The demonstration originally aimed to protest the government’s stance on illegal outposts and claimed it was delegitimizing the settler movement.

But many participants held signs and chanted against the government as a whole and particularly against any compromise with Bedouin protesters in southern Israel after clashes broke out over a controversial tree-planting initiative in the area.

Some signs read, “We want a Jewish state” and “Bennett resigns.”

Police estimate thousands turned out for the protest, but didn’t immediately give a more accurate number.

Right-wing activists protest against the demolition of buildings at the illegal West Bank outpost Homesh in front of the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, January 13, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

“A government that rewards terrorism is a dangerous government for the country. Bennett and his friends left the State of Israel, just yesterday they decided to eliminate cultivation in the Negev after the Bedouin violence and are now eliminating the Homesh yeshiva in response to the horrific murder,” Smotrich said, according to Israel Hayom daily.

Smotrich was referring to structures being erected illegally at the wild West Bank outpost of Homesh, near where an Israeli man, Yehuda Dimentman, was shot dead in a terrorist attack in December.

After several of these buildings, built on private Palestinian land, were leveled a week after the attack, right-wing activists and settler groups fear further destruction.

Back then and during Thursday’s protests, settler leaders blasted the demolitions, calling it a “price of terror” and arguing that the response to the shooting should be to legalize the Homesh outpost, which was previously a full-fledged settlement in 2005 evacuated as part of the Gaza disengagement.

“Together we will bring the flag of Zionism back to the top. Together we will overthrow the evil government and form a nationalist, Zionist, Jewish government. Together we will win,” said Smotrich.

Jewish settlers throw stones at Palestinian homes shortly after the funeral of Yehuda Dimentman, 25, who was killed in a gunshot attack by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank village of Burka on Friday, December 17, 2021. (AP Photo/ Majdi Mohammed)

“It’s a shame that on the same day that the government approves the Negev’s electricity bill, the government is cutting off power to homes in Judea and Samaria,” Dagan said, using the West Bank’s biblical name.

He was referring to a law that would allow thousands of illegally built homes, mostly in Arab communities, to be connected to the electricity grid.

Dimentman’s father, Mordechai, also took part in the protest. “I call on all youth to devote themselves to the values ​​we hold sacred, and with God’s help we will settle Homesh and all of Judea and Samaria,” he said.

Terrorists opened fire on the car that Dimentman was in with two other men, killing him and slightly injuring the others as they left the Homesh outpost on December 16 last year. A military official said her car was ambushed from the side of the road.

Dimentman was a student at a yeshiva near where the attack took place.

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