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Jerusalem: right-wing march through Old City rescheduled for next week

June 9, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Israelis police block the area around Jerusalem’s Old City as right wing Israelis take part in the annual Jerusalem Day march, on 10 May 2021, to mark the reunification of Jerusalem after Israel captured the eastern part of the city from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli officials announced today that they will allow a far-right march through Jerusalem’s Old City to go ahead next week, despite cancelling the event yesterday due to fears of renewed tension between the occupation state and Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza. Hamas had warned against allowing the so-march through the Old City’s Muslim quarter.

The army said on Monday that the permit for the march due to be held tomorrow had been withdrawn. An alternative route might be considered, it added.

However, following a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet yesterday, his office said that ministers had agreed the march can be held on Tuesday 15 June if organisers and police reach agreement.

The Hamas warning came from the deputy head of the movement’s political bureau, Khalil Al-Hayya. He said that if the procession goes near Al-Aqsa Mosque and East Jerusalem, then what happened on 10 May could be repeated. That was the start of the latest round of Israeli-led violence against the Palestinians. During Israel’s subsequent 11-day bombardment of Gaza, at least 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed.

Known as the Flag March, the annual rally sees far-right, ultra-nationalist Israelis flooding through Muslim areas celebrating the capture of East Jerusalem by Zionist occupation forces following a second wave of ethnic cleansing in 1967. Chanting “death to Arabs” and singing racist and highly offensive songs, thousands are usually seen parading through Muslim areas carrying Israeli flags.

Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, a leading figure in far-right Israeli party Otzma Yehudit, rejected the march’s postponement as a “surrender to Hamas”. He insisted that he will head for the Old City with his flag tomorrow as planned.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed the entire city in 1980, an illegal move that has never been recognised by the international community.

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