Israeli nationalists’ flag march by way of Muslim Quarter sparks rigidity in Jerusalem

1000’s of Israeli nationalists, a few of them chanting “Dying to Arabs,” paraded by way of the guts of the primary Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis on Might 29, in a present of power that risked setting off a brand new wave of violence within the tense metropolis.The crowds, who have been overwhelmingly younger Orthodox Jewish males, have been celebrating Jerusalem Day – an Israeli vacation that marks the seize of the Outdated Metropolis within the 1967 Mideast warfare. Palestinians see the occasion, which passes by way of the guts of the Muslim Quarter, as a provocation. Final yr, the parade helped set off an 11-day warfare with Gaza militants, and this yr’s march drew condemnations from the Palestinians and neighboring Jordan.Israel mentioned it deployed 1000’s of police and safety forces for the occasion, and small scuffles between Jewish and Palestinian teams erupted contained in the Outdated Metropolis earlier than the parade started.استعراض التفوَق اليهودي اليوم في القدس بدعم كامل من الحكومة وقوات الأمن ليس صنيعة حفنة من المتطرفين، وإنما تعبير عن واقع حياة الفلسطينيين تحت ظل نظام الأبارتهايد الإسرائيلي – واقع أنشأته وما زالت تقوده الحكومات اليمينية و”اليسارية”.— B’Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) Might 29, 2022As the march bought underway, teams of Orthodox Jewish teams gathered outdoors Damascus Gate, waving flags, singing spiritual and nationalistic songs, and shouting “the Jewish nation lives” earlier than coming into the Muslim Quarter. One massive group chanted “Dying to Arabs,” and “Let your village burn down” earlier than descending into the Outdated Metropolis.Police cleared Palestinians out of the world, which is generally a bustling Palestinian thoroughfare. At one level, a drone flying a Palestinian flag flew overhead.Forward of the march, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned that “flying the flag of Israel within the capital of Israel is an apparent factor” and that Israel had made this clear “from the outset.” On the similar time, he requested contributors to have fun in a “accountable and respectful method.”1000’s of individuals usually participate within the march by way of the Muslim Quarter, together with some who shout out nationalistic or racist slogans towards the Palestinians, earlier than making their approach to the Western Wall within the Jewish Quarter on the opposite aspect of the Outdated Metropolis.Final yr, after weeks of Israeli-Palestinian unrest in Jerusalem, authorities modified the route of the march on the final minute to keep away from the Muslim Quarter. Nevertheless it was too late by then, and Hamas militants in Gaza fired a barrage of rockets towards Jerusalem because the procession was getting underway. That set off 11 days of heavy combating.Sunday’s march got here at a time of heightened tensions. Israeli police have repeatedly confronted stone-throwing Palestinian demonstrators within the disputed compound in latest months, typically firing rubber bullets and stun grenades.On the similar time, some 19 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian attackers in Israel and the occupied West Financial institution in latest weeks, whereas over 35 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli navy operations within the occupied West Financial institution. Lots of these have been Palestinian militants killed in battle, however a number of civilians have been additionally among the many useless, together with Shireen Abu Akleh, a widely known correspondent for the Al Jazeera satellite tv for pc channel.Jerusalem police have been criticised internationally for beating mourners at Abu Akleh’s funeral two weeks in the past.Regardless of the latest unrest, Israeli leaders determined to permit this yr’s parade to happen alongside its conventional route by way of the Muslim Quarter. Forward the march, there have been small scuffles between Israeli nationalists and Palestinians, who threw chairs and bottles and shouted “God is nice” on the crowds. Some marchers sprayed pepper spray at Palestinians and journalists.Police additionally fired rubber-tipped bullets and used golf equipment and pepper spray to disperse Palestinian protesters from the world. The Palestinian Crimson Crescent rescue service mentioned 15 individuals have been injured by Israeli police, together with 4 who wanted hospitalization.Forward of the march, over 2,500 Jews visited Jerusalem’s most delicate holy website contained in the Outdated Metropolis, as Palestinians barricaded contained in the Al Aqsa Mosque threw rocks and fireworks.Al Aqsa is located on a hilltop compound revered by Muslims and Jews. The mosque is the third-holiest website in Islam, and the Palestinians are fiercely protecting over what they take into account to be a potent image of their nationwide aspirations.The compound is also the holiest website for Jews, who name it the Temple Mount and revere it as the house of the biblical Temples. The competing claims to the location lie on the coronary heart of the Israeli-Palestinian battle and have triggered quite a few rounds of violence.Police additionally mentioned one of many Jewish teams “violated visitation guidelines” and was eliminated. Israeli media mentioned the group had unfurled Israeli flags within the compound.Beneath longstanding preparations generally known as the “establishment,” Jews are allowed to go to the compound however not pray. In recent times, nevertheless, the variety of Jewish guests has grown considerably, together with some who’ve been noticed quietly praying.Such scenes have sparked Palestinian fears that Israel is plotting to take over or divide the world. Israel denies such claims, saying it stays dedicated to the established order.Among the many guests was Itamar Ben-Gvir, chief of a small ultranationalist opposition get together and a follower of the late racist rabbi, Meir Kahane, who entered with dozens of supporters underneath heavy police guard.Palestinians shouted “God is nice” as Ben-Gvir, accompanied by Israeli police, shouted “the Jewish individuals dwell.” Police mentioned they locked the gates of the mosque and mentioned they made 18 arrests.Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of “taking part in with hearth irresponsibily and recklessly.”Jordan condemned Ben-Gvir’s go to to the location and warned that the “provocative and escalating march” might make issues deteriorate additional. Jordan managed east Jerusalem till Israel captured it in 1967 and it stays the custodian over Muslim holy websites.Israel captured east Jerusalem, together with the Outdated Metropolis, within the 1967 Mideast warfare. Israel has annexed east Jerusalem in a transfer that isn’t internationally recognised and claims all the metropolis as its capital. The Palestinians search east Jerusalem because the capital of a future state.Gaza’s Hamas rulers praised what they known as “the good heroism” proven by Palestinians at Al Aqsa earlier Sunday. “The Islamic Palestinian Arab identification of the Al Aqsa Mosque can be protected by our individuals and their valiant resistance with all their would possibly,” mentioned Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for the group.The group, nevertheless, could also be cautious of getting concerned in one other spherical of combating. Gaza was arduous hit in final yr’s warfare, and the territory continues to be struggling to restore the injury. As well as, some 12,000 Gazan laborers at the moment are permitted to work inside Israel as a part of efforts to take care of calm between the enemies. Renewed combating might threat dropping these jobs, which have given a small increase to Gaza’s devastated financial system.