Right-wing activists: Infiltration of Jericho ‘first step'

Ben-Gvir: There are eight sites under Palestinian control that we plan to enter.

Right-wing activists swore Monday they would continue to enter Jewish sites in Palestinian areas, even as Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised to prevent them from doing so.
The Jericho infiltration on Sunday evening in which 80 Jews illegally entered the Palestinian city to pray at two of its ancient synagogues, was just the first step in a campaign to reclaim areas of the West Bank, said right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir.
There are eight sites under Palestinian control that “we plan to enter,” just as Jews did in Jericho on Sunday evening, said Ben-Gvir.
He would not say which sites or when the activity would take place.
At the Labor faction meeting in the Knesset on Monday afternoon, Barak said that such activity, carried out by people who took the law into their own hands, would not be tolerated.
“We will continue to ensure that in Judea and Samaria there is only one authority, and that is the state [of Israel],” said Barak.
Currently, anyone who wants to enter Palestinian territory from Israel must obtain advanced authorization.
“Anything else, whether it is the result of internal motivation or an attempt to create friction, won’t be tolerated, not now and not in the future,” said Barak.
On Sunday evening the IDF and Border Police forcibly evacuated and arrested 35 right-wing activists who had illegally entered Jericho to pray at the abandoned Na’aran synagogue.
Security forces prevented another 45 activists who also illegally entered the city, from reaching the abandoned Shalom Al Yisrael (Peace for Israel) synagogue. Those activists left the city on their own.
On Monday police released 34 of the activists. They continued to hold one minor.
Ben Hartman and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.