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Arab lawmakers slam Israel's approval of far-right march in occupied Jerusalem

Far-right Israelis holding Israeli flags stage "flag march" starting from Ha-Nevi'im Street towards Damascus Gate (Bab al-Amud) in OId Town neighborhood of Jerusalem on 15 June 2021. [Esat Fırat - Anadolu Agency]
Far-right Israelis holding Israeli flags towards Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on 15 June 2021 [Esat Fırat/Anadolu Agency]

Arab members of the Israeli Knesset condemned Israeli authorities for approving the right-wing flag march and allowing if to pass through occupied East Jerusalem.

Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej of the Meretz Party criticised the move, saying: "The decision to allow the provocative march to pass through the Muslim Quarter and Damascus Gate is a dangerous and worrying mistake."

Frej added that he intends to work "on changing the decision in order to avoid its dangerous consequences."

MK Ahmed Tibi of the Joint List described Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev's decision as "dangerous and stupid".

Bar-Lev and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai approved the provocative march on Tuesday. It is scheduled to take place on Jerusalem Day on 28 May.

During last year's annual flag march, Israeli far-right supremacists shared selfies posing with guns and messages such as "Tonight we are not Jews, we are Nazis." A report by Amnesty International on the conduct of Israeli police during May and June's crackdown on Palestinians found that it had failed to protect Palestinians from Jewish supremacists who had organised attacks and publicised their plans in advance.

Occupation authorities cancelled a planned flag March outside Jerusalem's Old City organised by right-wing Israeli extremists and which was due to be held in April.

The march was announced days after Al-Aqsa Mosque was stormed by Israeli occupation forces who attacked Palestinian worshippers. At least 152 Palestinians were wounded when Israeli troops entered the mosque and fired at Palestinians.

READ: Israeli extremist calls for demolition of Dome of the Rock

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