Saturday, September 24, 2022
HomeGlobalJerusalem: the 'March of the flags' added tension between Israelis and Palestinians

Jerusalem: the ‘March of the flags’ added tension between Israelis and Palestinians

Tens of thousands of people participated this Sunday in the controversy “March of the Flags” in Jerusalem, a nationalist procession with which Israelis remember the occupation of the eastern part of the citywhich coincides this year with weeks of tensions.

The demonstration, which according to the police brought together 70,000 peoplecrossed the Old City, located in East Jerusalem, a sector occupied by Israel since 1967 and annexed.

The crowd paraded through the streets of Jerusalem and some participants who make up the anti-Arab group “La Familia” chanted slogans such as “Death to the Arabs.”

This day remembers the “reunification” of the city, whose eastern part was occupied by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1980.

brief clashes were recorded between Palestinians and Israeli policemen in front of the “Damascus gate”, through which the protesters entered the Old City and which overlooks the Muslim quarter, confirmed a photographer from the news agency AFP.

Projectiles were launched at the march in the Muslim quarter, a journalist from the AFPwhile bottles of water were thrown at stretcher bearers carrying a wounded Palestinian.

The ‘”March of the Flags” celebrating Jerusalem Day has long been seen by Palestinians as a provocation. Photo EFE

In Jerusalem, at least 79 people were injured in the day in different incidents, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. The police registered about 60 detainees.

The vast majority of the international community has never recognized Israeli rule over East Jerusalem.

The authorities followed the “March of the flags” attentively

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the anti-Arab chants a “disgrace.”

On the eve of the march, the Israeli prime minister, Naftali BennettHe warned that the police would have “zero tolerance” for Jewish extremists seeking to stir up tensions.

For this, nearly 2,000 policemen were mobilized throughout Jerusalem.

Anticipating the clashes, in the Muslim quarter of the Old Citymost of the stores remained closed and the inhabitants locked in their houses.

In parts of East Jerusalem, many Palestinians put Palestinian flags on the roofs and windows, as a sign of protest against this Israeli celebration.

The '"march of the flags" celebrating Jerusalem Day has long been seen by Palestinians as a provocation.  Photo EFE

The ‘”March of the Flags” celebrating Jerusalem Day has long been seen by Palestinians as a provocation. Photo EFE

The Palestinians hope that East Jerusalem will one day be the capital of their future state.

During the march, thousands of participants – the vast majority Israeli Jewish men – crossed the Old City’s Damascus Gate, which is used by Palestinians and is a very symbolic place.

“This is our country and so it is,” said Ofer Amar, an 18-year-old Israeli AFP. “Palestinians are guests in our country.”

Hours before the march was to begin, an Israeli far-right leader, Itamar Ben Gvir, and other nationalists visited the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem.

“I have come to support the security forces and I expect the police to bring order to the Temple Mount (…) Today I have come to affirm that we, the State of Israel, are sovereign here,” Itamar said. Ben Gvir.

The Esplanade it is at the heart of the recent Israeli-Palestinian tensions in the Old City of Jerusalem.

It is the third holiest place for Islam and the holiest for the Jews, who call it the Temple Mount. The current status quo stipulates that Jews can enter the Esplanade but cannot pray there.

The Palestinians consider the entrance of the Jews to the place a “provocation”, whose access is also controlled by the Israeli forces.

The '"march of the flags" celebrating Jerusalem Day has long been seen by Palestinians as a provocation.  Photo EFE

The ‘”March of the Flags” celebrating Jerusalem Day has long been seen by Palestinians as a provocation. Photo EFE

On Sunday, some 1,800 non-Muslims, mostly tourists and also Israelis, visited the esplanade, police said.

Last year, in the jerusalem day and after days of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas fired rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip, which responded with air strikes against this Palestinian enclave.

Gaza is ruled by Hamas and has been under an Israeli blockade for 15 years.

The war left 260 Palestinians dead, including 66 children, while 14 people were killed in Israel.

Managing the march is seen as a “personal” test for Bennett, who has embodied the Israeli nationalist right for years, according to the daily Yediot Aharonot.

According to analyst and former Israeli intelligence officer Shlomo Mofaz, Bennett is betting that “Hamas has no interest in another war and is now focused on rebuilding Gaza.”

But if there is violence in Jerusalem and Palestinian casualties, this could prompt Hamas or other Palestinian armed groups, such as Islamic Jihad, to change their minds, Mofaz said.

DB

Recent posts