Settlers vent fury at peace moves

Thousands of Jewish settlers took to the streets of Jerusalem Thursday to protest Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's promise to dismantle “illegal settlements” in the West Bank and move towards setting up a Palestinian state.

    Jewish settlers vent their anger at
    Sharon's promise to dismantle
    some settlements

    They blocked roads in west Jerusalem and several localities on the West Bank on Wednesday night and Thursday.

     

    Expressing their disgust at the latest peace moves, the settlers shouted slogans  such as “death to Arabs” and “death to non-Jews”, according to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) News service.

     

    In Kiryat Arba’a near Hebron, one settler told reporters that “Jews need a leader like Hitler not one like Gandhi."

     

    In West Jerusalem, thousands of Jewish settlers urged the Israeli government to annex the West Bank and expel all non-Jews.

     

    One sign read, “Jews in Israel, Arabs to the desert”.

     

    Israeli PM Ariel Sharon promised to remove "illegal settlements" during his meeting with US President George Bush and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas in the Jordanian city of Aqaba Wednesday.

     

    Sharon was referring to mainly sparsely populated hilltop settlements established without Israeli government permission in the West Bank after March 2001, the month Sharon took office.

     

    But under international law all Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are illegal.

    According to the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now there are more than 100 settlement outposts in the West Bank, more than 60 of them established since Sharon took office in March 2001.

      

    But Israeli media said only about 15, which the Jewish state considers unauthorised, were likely to be removed.


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