Thousands of Israeli activists marched to barren hilltops across Judea and Samaria on Sunday to establish a new communities in protest over the government's intention to surrender the territory to the Palestinian Arabs.
Eight hilltops in all were targeted in the efforts. Israeli security forces declared all of the hilltops closed military zones, but ultimately did not interfere with the demonstrators. Police officials did, however, threaten to forcibly evacuate any of the marchers who tried to remain at the sites past Sunday night.
Settler leaders said they and those supporting their efforts draw inspiration from the Macabees, the Jewish revolutionaries whose victory over Greek occupiers and restoration of Jewish control over the land of Israel is commemorated in the week-long Hanukkah holiday now being celebrated.
Hanukkah candles were lit in joyous ceremonies atop at least three of the hilltops reached by the Israelis.