Thousands at controversial flag march in Jerusalem


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Status: 05/18/2023 8:09 p.m

In Jerusalem, thousands of nationalists marched through the city – with the flag march they celebrated the conquest of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in 1967. The procession also passed through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Arrests were made.

Thousands of nationalist Israelis have paraded through Jerusalem with Israeli flags, accompanied by a massive police presence. The controversial march also passed through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, which Palestinians see as an extreme provocation. According to the Haaretz news site, around 20,000 people gathered. Also in attendance were Israel’s far-right Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

The march takes place annually on Jerusalem Day. It celebrates the Israeli conquest of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians are demanding the Arab-dominated eastern part of Jerusalem as the future capital of their own state.

According to the police, around 3,200 security forces were deployed out of fear of confrontations. According to media reports, several Jewish groups chanted slogans such as “Death to the Arabs” or “May your village burn” during the march. There were isolated cases of violent clashes between Jewish nationalists and Palestinians. Videos showed marchers throwing bottles and other objects at journalists. Several reporters were therefore treated on site. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the incident, police said.

“Provocative and unacceptable”

Several hundred Jews had visited the Temple Mount in the morning, including a member of the government and several MPs. Jordan’s Foreign Ministry condemned the visit as “provocative and unacceptable”. The Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. But it is also sacred to Jews because there used to be two Jewish temples there. Jews are allowed to visit the facility, but not pray there.

The flag march was canceled about two years ago because of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The ruling Hamas there warned that the “red line” in Jerusalem should not be crossed. In the Gaza Strip, hundreds gathered in protest at the border with Israel. They waved Palestinian flags and set tires on fire. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at the demonstrators.

A five-day clash between the Israeli military and militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip only ended on Saturday after a ceasefire.

Israel and militant Palestinians have agreed on a ceasefire. Now she’s apparently taking hold.

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