Far-right Israeli settlers, ministers march in West Bank amid escalating tensions

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Jews march to the Evyatar outspot, near the West Bank city of Nablus, during the Passover holiday, on April 10, 2023. Photo by Sraya Diamant/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** צעדה שכם חיילים אביתר התנחלות מאחז לא חוקי פעילי ימין מתנחלים

Thousands of Israeli settlers and dozens of politicians, including seven cabinet ministers, on Monday marched to an abandoned illegal Israeli outpost in the occupied West Bank.

   The march to Eviatar, an unpermitted outpost in the northern West Bank that was evacuated by a previous government in 2021, was taking place under heavy police and army guard.

   Video footage circulated on social media showed Israeli soldiers clashing with Palestinian demonstrators who protested against the march. At least 56 Palestinians were injured by tear gas, according to a statement by the Palestinian Red Crescent.

   Israel’s National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, also a settler and leader of the extreme-right Jewish Power party, said in a speech at the march that its aim was “to say that the nation of Israel is strong” and that “we are here and will remain here.”

   The march took place amid mounting violence between Israelis and Palestinians, which was sparked by Israeli police raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last week. The raids came at a sensitive time when Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan, while Jews were celebrating the Passover holiday.  

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