- Tens of 1000’s of Israeli nationalists marched to Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis as a part of an annual flag parade.
- Marchers reportedly made racist chants in opposition to Arabs.
- In Gaza, 1000’s gathered for a rival flag day on the Israeli border, many holding Palestinian flags.
Tens of 1000’s of Israeli nationalists marched to Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis on Thursday in an annual flag-waving march commemorating Israel’s seize of it, as tensions on the Gaza border remained excessive.
Palestinians in annexed east Jerusalem closed their outlets and had been banned from the Damascus Gate entrance to the Outdated Metropolis, a social hub, to make method for the marchers, a few of whom attacked journalists with rocks and bottles, an AFP reporter stated.
Police stated that they had made two arrests over the assault, one in every of an grownup and one in every of a minor.
America, Israel’s fundamental ally, on Thursday, condemned demonstrators’ “racist” chants in opposition to Arabs, with AFP reporters saying that lots of the marchers had shouted anti-Arab slogans.
State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller wrote on Twitter:
America unequivocally opposes racist language of any kind. We condemn the hateful chants resembling ‘Loss of life to Arabs’ throughout as we speak’s marches in Jerusalem.
In Gaza, 1000’s gathered for a rival flag day on the Israeli border, many holding Palestinian flags. Israeli troops fired tear fuel in the direction of anybody approaching the border fence, AFP reporters stated.
A Palestinian safety supply in Gaza stated the territory’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, fired a “warning rocket” into the ocean, with out elaborating.
Forward of the Israeli march, the militant group stated it “condemns the marketing campaign of the Zionist occupation (Israel) in opposition to our Palestinian folks in occupied Jerusalem”.
Two years in the past, after weeks of violence in Jerusalem wherein scores of Palestinians had been wounded, a conflict between Hamas and Israel erupted throughout the march.
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Talking late Thursday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated the celebrations had been being held in Jerusalem “75 years after it was re-established because the capital of the reborn state of Israel, and 56 years after being reunited”.
Two of his extreme-right cupboard members, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, attended Thursday’s march, one of many occasions marking what Israelis discuss with as Jerusalem Day.
“Immediately, we are saying to Hamas who threatened us: ‘Jerusalem is ours,'” Ben-Gvir stated in a press release.
Following the Six-Day Warfare of 1967, Israel annexed east Jerusalem and its Outdated Metropolis in a transfer by no means recognised by the worldwide neighborhood.
Thursday’s rally came about days right into a ceasefire that ended lethal cross-border combating with Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza.
Thirty-three folks, together with a number of civilians, had been killed within the blockaded Palestinian enclave and two in Israel, a citizen and a Gazan labourer.
Some 500 cops secured the march, which started within the western a part of the town earlier than passing into east Jerusalem and thru the Outdated Metropolis to the Western Wall, the place it wrapped up.
Earlier than the march started, Palestinians with outlets within the Outdated Metropolis closed up for the day.
Resident Abu al-Abed, 72, stated he wished “to go dwelling”. The marchers “are dangerous, they’re strolling and begin to hit the doorways of the outlets and the doorways of our homes,” he informed AFP.
Scuffles between Jewish and Palestinian youths came about as early marchers arrived within the Outdated Metropolis, with police saying that in some circumstances forces “had been required to behave to forestall friction and provocations”.
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However the violence was vastly lowered from final yr, when no less than 79 folks had been wounded as police clashed with Palestinian counter-protesters outdoors Damascus Gate.
Officers who handle the holy web site estimated that fifty 000 folks took half in Jewish prayers on the Western Wall within the night.
Previous to the march, dozens of Jews – together with no less than three lawmakers from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud celebration and a minister from Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Energy faction – visited Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest web site.
Jews, who name it the Temple Mount and revere it as their faith’s holiest web site, are allowed to go to however not pray.
Considered one of them, Tom Nissani, was sitting at Jaffa Gate with an Israeli flag, awaiting the march.
“It is our capital metropolis, we’ve got to indicate it, to get pleasure from it, to battle for it”, the 34-year-old West Financial institution settler who works for an organisation selling Jewish presence on the flashpoint web site informed AFP.
Transport Minister Miri Regev, from Netanyahu’s Likud, was amongst Israelis waving flags at Damascus Gate hours earlier than the official rally.
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A spokesperson for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned Israel “in opposition to insisting on organising the provocative flag march”.
Pushing forward with the parade “confirms the acquiescence of the Israeli authorities to Jewish extremists”, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh stated Wednesday.
Since final yr’s rally, Israel’s management has taken a marked shift to the far-right.
Ben-Gvir, the nation’s nationwide safety minister, was convicted in 2007 of supporting a terrorist group and inciting racism.
Far-right ally Smotrich holds the finance portfolio together with some powers within the occupied West Financial institution, and in addition has a historical past of inflammatory remarks about Palestinians.