This comes at a time when the Israeli army is guarding thousands of Israeli settlers marching on Monday to the abandoned illegal outpost of Evyatar near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus to call on the Israeli government to legalise the outpost and to “denounce the increased attacks on settlements in recent weeks”.
Thousands of settlers are expected to take part in the march, heavily protected by Israeli forces who will close the march’s path from 10:30am to 5pm. The march has been called under the banner “All of the Land of Israel is ours … We will return”.
At least 27 cabinet members, including Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich, Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, and Minister of Religious Affairs Michael Malchiali, and Knesset members will attend the march.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it considers the march “a dangerous escalation and provocation of the Palestinian people, and an extension of the incitement calls of the Israeli right and the fascist right to deepen settlement at the expense of Palestinian lands, and it has dangerous repercussions on the situation in the arena of conflict”.
The ministry added that it is studying with legal experts the best ways to confront the settlement process, including filing a complaint with the UN Security Council, Human Rights Council and Permanent Commission of Inquiry as well as the relevant international courts.
The march is scheduled to start from the Zaatara military checkpoint towards the evacuated Evyatar outpost on Jabal Sabih in the town of Bita, south of Nablus, in the north of the West Bank.
Last year, Israeli settlers established the illegal Evyatar settlement outpost on private Palestinian lands on Mount Sabih. The Israeli authorities decided to evacuate it after months of Palestinian protests.
Meanwhile, tensions at Al-Aqsa Mosque continued for the fifth day in a row as a group of settlers stormed the courtyards of the compound early on Monday under the protection of Israeli forces. Previously, the occupation forces prevented Palestinian worshippers below the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform the Fajr prayer.
The forces tightened their presence at the Al-Aqsa gates before opening them and after the start of the prayer.
In light of these developments, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant decided to deploy security reinforcements in the Tel Aviv area starting Monday after the Israeli army conducted an assessment of the security situation there.