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Israel's Flag March condemned internationally

The racism on display at Israel's Flag March has been condemned in an unexpected statement from the US State Department, along with Turkiye, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan

May 19, 2023 at 4:22 pm

The United States (US), along with several Arab States, yesterday condemned Israel demonstrators’ flag march through Jerusalem’s Old City and for desecrating Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The foreign ministries of the US, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Turkiye each issued statements slamming Israel for “storming” the Al-Aqsa compound and the ministers for joining and singing the Israeli national anthem at the Muslim holy site.

“The United States unequivocally opposes racist language of any form. We condemn the hateful chants, such as ‘Death to Arabs’ during today’s marches in Jerusalem,” State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, wrote on Twitter.

Tens of thousands of Israeli settlers shouted chants, such as “Death to Arabs”, “May your village burn” and “Mohammed is dead” at Palestinians as they marched around the Old City, to mark what they call the unification of Jerusalem, in reference to Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.

READ: Gaza protests against Israel’s racist Flag March

Despite the controversial march having triggered violent clashes with Palestinians in recent years, including an 11-day fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza in May 2021, Israeli settlers groups and authorities mobilised nearly 5,000 settlers to break into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on the day of the flag march.

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticised the members of the Israeli government in a statement, today, for “storming Al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli security guards”.

The Ministry affirmed “the Kingdom’s categorical rejection of such violations and provocative actions” and reiterated that “the Kingdom stands by the Palestinian people and supports all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.”

Moreover, the Turkish Foreign Ministry added in a statement, “We strongly condemn the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by fanatical Jewish groups under police protection and their attempts to perform prayers in this area, violating once again the historical status quo at Haram Al-Sharif.”

It urged the Israeli government not to allow such “provocative actions”.

“We expect the necessary measures for the preservation of the status quo in the holy places to be taken seriously and without delay,” it added.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times. Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.

OPINION: The ‘Flag March’ reveals the Occupation’s dilemma in Jerusalem