Israelis arrested while trying to reclaim Jericho synagogue

Monday, February 22, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Thirty-five Israeli Jews were arrested on Sunday night while part of a larger group trying to reclaim at least two ancient synagogues the Palestinian-controlled town of Jericho.

It is illegal for Israeli Jews to enter Jericho and most other Palestinian-controlled areas without special permission from the army, despite the Jews' rich historical connection to these areas.

But that didn't stop the large group of activists led by right-wing lawmaker MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) as it bypassed IDF checkpoints and made its way to the ancient Na'aran synagogue. After praying at the site, the group placed an Israeli flag on the synagogue's roof.

Many in the group then tried to approach the famous Shalom Al Israel synagogue, also in Jericho, but were stopped by Israeli soldiers.

Thirty-three of the 35 detained activists were released on Monday, though the police said indictments will be filed against all of them.

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