Thousands of Israeli Jewish hardliners gathered at the Western Wall imploring God to throw a wrench in a peace plan proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry, which would see a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and other territorial compromises. Police say around 2,000 people attended the gathering in Jerusalem’s Old City, where participants called on God to strike fear in the hearts of those who might cause harm to the land of Israel. Housing Minister Uri Ariel and other members of the far-right Jewish Home party, which forms part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition but fiercely opposes a two-state solution, were in attendance. In a not-so-veiled reference to Kerry’s role in peace negotiations, Ariel said “thousands of people came to pray for the people of Israel, to strengthen the government and the one who stands at its head, that he may be able to stand firm against the different pressures coming from the other side of the ocean,” Israeli National News reported. Since initiating the latest round of talks in July, Kerry has been working to push Israelis and Palestinians toward a framework agreement in the run-up to an agreed April deadline. Kerry, who is set to visit Israel for the 11th time in under a year, has enraged hardliner Israelis with a peace plan that reportedly includes an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Although certain settlements will not be included in the withdrawal, Palestinians will be compensated with Israeli territory.
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