Seventeen right-wing activists were arrested Monday past midnight,
according to Israel Police, after a group of about thirty broke into a
closed military zone along the Jordanian border and occupied an old
building. Among those arrested were three minors.
Security forces evacuated the activists after the group refused to leave voluntarily.
activists were attempting to to
establish a settlement outpost. According to the IDF, the activists
breached the fence near the area of Kasr al-Yehud, but did not cross the
international border between the two countries. They were, however,
threatening to do so according to Channel 2.
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Activist Meir Bretler told The Jerusalem Post
by telephone from the site that
the protesters had entered an abandoned building located on the Israeli side of
the Jordan River.
He said they wanted to create an outpost there named
after the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, Metzudat Ze’ev.
The activists from
the "hilltop youth" occupied the site near
Jericho in protest of the Jordanian government's stance against the
closure of the Mugrabi Bridge
connecting the Western Wall to the Temple
site itself is in a closed military zone separating the West Bank
and the Jordanian border. Located near the banks of the Jordan River,
the it is revered by many Christians as the place where biblical Saint
John was baptized.
The activists were located approximately 200
meters from the border.
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said that if Jordan intervenes in
Israel's internal affairs, it should not be surprised if Israelis do the
The issue of the Mugrabi bridge was reportedly raised late last month
during a meeting in Amman between President Shimon Peres and Jordan's
King Abdullah II.
Reuters contributed to this report.