Israeli PM defends march marked by violence, racism – Occasions of India

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday defended the choice to carry an annual march that celebrates Israel’s takeover of east Jerusalem and was marked by violence and anti-Palestinian racism. Authorities referred to as up hundreds of police, forcibly cleared out Palestinians and risked one other conflict with the Islamic militant group Hamas to make sure that tens of hundreds of largely right-wing Israelis may parade by means of a dense Palestinian neighbourhood and a whole bunch may go to an intensely contested holy web site. Israel had modified the route on the final minute in 2021, at a time of hovering tensions over violence on the holy web site and makes an attempt by settlers to take away dozens of Palestinian households from their houses in east Jerusalem. Hamas nonetheless fired rockets, and an 11-day Gaza conflict ensued. Israel prevented that state of affairs this yr and allowed the parade to take its conventional route by means of the center of the Muslim Quarter of the Previous Metropolis. However the march noticed Israeli nationalists chant racist slogans, together with “Dying to Arabs,” and assault Palestinians and journalists. Fights broke out alongside the route, as police primarily intervened to guard Jews and disperse Palestinians. The Palestinian Purple Crescent rescue service mentioned 62 Palestinians had been wounded, together with 23 who wanted hospitalization. Israeli police mentioned they arrested over 60 suspects and that 5 officers had been wounded. The overwhelming majority of these arrested seem to have been Palestinians, although police refused to offer a breakdown. Bennett praised the police’s dealing with of the occasion and mentioned Israel was obliged to carry the march within the face of threats by Hamas. “If we hadn’t executed it alongside the common route, we might – in impact – by no means return to it,” he mentioned. “This might have been a retreat on sovereignty.” Bennett praised the marchers, saying that “aside from an extremist group, whom we are going to take care of to the fullest extent of the legislation, those that celebrated yesterday did so in a really particular, heart-lifting means.” Israel captured east Jerusalem, together with the Previous Metropolis with its holy websites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, within the 1967 conflict, and annexed it in a transfer not acknowledged internationally. The Palestinians need east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Additionally on Sunday, Israel allowed a whole bunch of largely nationalist and non secular Jews to go to the holy web site that Jews discuss with because the Temple Mount and Muslims know because the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. The positioning, which is the holiest for Jews and the third holiest in Islam, has continuously been the epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The Palestinians concern Israel plans to take over the location or partition it. Israel says it’s dedicated to a decades-old set of preparations referred to as the established order, beneath which Jews can go to the location however not pray there — however that rule has steadily eroded in recent times. A few of Sunday’s guests had been seen praying with little interference from police. “Regardless of nice efforts by far-right activists, Sunday’s Flag March within the Previous Metropolis of Jerusalem did not result in a significant conflagration between Israel and the Palestinians,” Amos Harel wrote in a column in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “As a substitute, we witnessed the standard assortment of racist shows, violent scuffles between Jews and Arabs and a normal sense of revulsion.”