Rightists and leftists protesters hit the streets Tuesday to express their stances on the Palestinian drive for recognition at the United Nations.
Dozens of settlers marched in the West Bank chanting "this land belongs to us," while pro-Palestinian activists rallied in front of the United States embassy in Tel Aviv against the superpower's intention to veto the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN Security Council.
Right-wing marchers set out from the home of Rabbi Ehud Fogel, who was killed in a terror attack earlier this year along with his wife and three of his children at the settlement of Itamar.
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"We are in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state in France or in Canada, but Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people," MK Michael Ben Ari said during the settlers' march. "There has never been a Palestinian state, and we will make sure that there never will be."
Settlers march against Palestine (Photo: Samaria Settlers' Committee)
"The Jewish public is telling the entire world today, Samaria is Israel," added settler leader Benny Katzover. "Hundreds of thousands of Jews live here. We declare that it's unacceptable to establish a murderers' state here."
Another march began from the settlement of Beit El towards the IDF's Coordination and Liaison Administration. The demonstrators burned Palestinian Liberation Organization flags, blocked roads and sang. Dozens more marched down Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, accompanied by police and Border Guard officers, chanting the slogan "Land of Israel for the people of Israel."
Meir Brettler, who heads the Hilltop Youth movement, said that more protest events are to take place in the coming days, aiming to "send a clear message that this land is ours in its entirety. The Arabs can play pretend at the UN, but ultimately this is our homeland."
'Yes to Palestine, no to US veto'
Meanwhile, about 50 protesters, among them Palestinian activists and members of the Arab party Balad, gathered on the Tel Aviv boardwalk in front of the US embassy. They held up Palestinian flags and signs reading "Yes to Palestine, no to the American veto," "US = Israeli puppet" and "End the occupation."
MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), who was in attendance, told Ynet: "We must put an end to the American mediation that shows absolute support for Israel's occupation policy.
"I think that the revolutionary mood in the Arab world and the UN bid indicate that the mediation must be international and based on international law and international agreements that recognize the rights of the Palestinian people and the rights of refugees," she continued.
Zoabi speculated that that Palestinian UN application will win the majority vote.
"Israel must be appropriately categorized as an occupying and criminal (state)," Zoabi said. "The Palestinians are not the only ones saying that, the rest of the world's nations are saying that today."
Yoav Malka contributed to the story
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