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Thousands join anti-PM rally in Jerusalem

Thousands of Jewish settlers and far right-wing Israelis proclaimed PM Ehud Olmert as 'bad news for Jews'.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 11:26 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Several thousand Jewish settlers and far right-wing Israelis joined a mass rally in Jerusalem to protest against acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, proclaiming him "bad for Jews."

"Olmert is leading us to civil war," declared a banner on the stage where speakers addressed the crowds at the rally yesterday in protest at police "brutality" during the clearance of an unauthorised settlement outpost near the West Bank city of Ramallah last week.

The protest was organised by the Yesha settlers' council under the slogan: "Ehud Olmert is bad for Jews."

It was Olmert who ordered last Wednesday's evacuation of the Amona outpost, an operation that degenerated into violent clashes that left about 250 people injured, among them both police and protestors.

"Olmert, your place is in prison," said settler leader Pinhas Wallerstein, a founder of the Amona outpost, while rabbi Elyakim Levanon from the settlement of Elon Moreh accused him of "inciting hatred."

Dozens of right-wing and settler groups demanded the government open an official inquiry into the behaviour of the security forces during the evacuation, which saw nine illegally-built homes razed.

"The public demands answers, and wants the government to take responsibility and set up an official commission to examine the events at Amona," a Yesha statement said.

"The excessive violence on the part of security officials is alarming, and requires scrutiny. If the police are responsible for bashing the heads of youths whose hands were raised or who were already beaten to the ground, they must be brought to justice," it said.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 11:26 IST