Rightists protest in Jerusalem against settlement freeze

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of right-wing activists converged on Jerusalem to protest against the construction freeze in the West Bank.

The protest, called “Break the freeze — Continue to build,” was held Wednesday evening in Jerusalem’s Paris Square, located near the prime minister’s official residence.

"When Netanyahu speaks of a settlement freeze, he means a disengagement," lawmaker Aryeh Eldad of the National Union Party told the protesters. "Jews are not popsicles; you don’t freeze us so fast.

"The people of Israel are telling you today: We are not frozen so fast and we are not beaten so fast."

Hundreds of buses from throughout the country, including from West Bank settlements, brought protesters to the demonstration. Settler leaders and mayors, Knesset members and Israelis affected by the construction ban were set to speak at the event, which was organized by a coalition of right-wing organizations.

On Nov. 25, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a 10-month building freeze on all housing starts in Jewish West Bank settlements in an effort to bring the Palestinians to the peace negotiating table.

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