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Right-wing demonstrators rally in West Bank to demand settlement construction

(JTA) — Israeli right-wingers rallied in a disputed tract of West Bank land to demand settlement construction and oppose territorial concessions to the Palestinians.

Thousands of teenage students and other activists participated in Thursday’s protest march in the E1 corridor located between Jerusalem and the settlement of Maale Adumim. The protesters were joined by right-wing members of Israel’s governing Cabinet.

Israeli police estimated the crowd at 6,000, according to AFP.

They protesters marched from the settlement to the largely vacant tract, where they demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allow construction.

Cabinet ministers present at the demonstration included Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz of Likud and Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir of Yisrael Beiteinu, Haaretz reported.

“We’re here to tell the whole world that the land is ours and we have the right to build on it,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, according to the Israeli newspaper.

Netanyahu has vowed to build in E1 but has not allowed construction to proceed.

Israeli proposals to build in E1 have drawn strong Palestinian and international objections, with warnings that such construction would make direct territorial contiguity between major Palestinian population centers more difficult.

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