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In Protest Against Self-rule, Rightist Israelis Walk the Walk

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Several thousand Israelis walked this week from the West Bank town of Tulkarm to the coastal city of Netanya to protest the Palestinian self-rule accord.

Organizers of Monday’s march said the demonstration was aimed at showing how dangerous a withdrawal to Israel’s pre-1967 borders could be for Israeli security.

The next phase for implementing the self-rule accord calls for Israel to hand over most of the West Bank to the Palestinians.

Marching across Israel’s narrowest stretch, demonstrators made the 10-mile trek carrying signs that said: “Tulkarm-Netanya: Two-and-a-half hours for a tired donkey; three hours for a suicide bomber.”

Along the way, the demonstrators stopped at Beit Lid Junction, near Netanya, where 21 people were killed in a terrorist attack in January.

The march was organized by Israel’s right-wing parties, Jewish settlers groups, academics and retired army officers.

Joining the marchers were Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu and Rafael Eitan, leader of the right-wing Tsomet Party.

Also present among the protesters were Israelis wounded in recent terror attacks launched by Islamic fundamentalists opposed to the self-rule accord.

Meanwhile, a counter-demonstration in support of the peace process was held near Tulkarm on Monday.

Israeli youths belonging to the Peace Now movement joined Palestinians for the rally, during which they marked Israel’s pre-1967 borders with a ribbon festooned with flowers.

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