Israeli far-right groups march through occupied East Jerusalem
Published : Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 at 11:53 PM Count : 657
Israeli far-right nationalists began a flag-waving march through occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday that risks reigniting tensions with Palestinians and poses an early challenge for Israel’s new government, reports Aljazeera.
At least six Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces, and dozens more were assaulted and forcibly removed from the Damascus Gate plaza leading to the Old City.
Metal barriers were set up by Israeli police on the roads leading to Damascus Gate, which has been sealed off to prevent the entry of Palestinians.
The so-called March of the Flags celebrates the anniversary of Israel’s 1967 occupation of the city’s eastern part.
“The right to demonstrate is a right in all democracies,” said Israel’s Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev. “The police is ready and we will do everything in our power to preserve the delicate thread of coexistence.”
Palestinians view the march as provocative as Jewish settlers flaunt their sovereignty over the occupied territory. Previous marches have included Israeli chants of “Death to Arabs” and the attacking of Palestinian homes and shops in the Old City.
Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem since the Six-Day War of 1967 is not recognised by most of the international community, which says the city’s final status should be a matter of negotiation between the two sides.
Marchers chant racist slogans
Hundreds of Jewish nationalists participating in the “Flag Parade” in the Damascus Gate area were heard chanting “Death to Arabs” in Hebrew. In another anti-Arab chant, they yelled: “May your village burn.”
One Israeli man shouted at Palestinians in Arabic: “A second Nakba is coming” – referring to the 1948 ethnic cleansing of at least 700,000 Palestinians by Zionist paramilitaries.
Palestinians say such chants are heard every year during the march.
According to the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronoth, the Israeli far-right member of parliament Itamar Ben-Gvir, was present during the march.
The daily also reported that four Palestinian Israeli lawmakers, Ahmad Tibi, Ayman Odeh, Osama Saadi and Sami Abu Shehada, had arrived at the Damascus Gate and criticised the decision to allow the march.
Israeli forces injure 17 Palestinians in Jerusalem
At least 17 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli forces in the surrounding area of the Old City, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.
At least three of the wounded were taken to hospital, while the rest of the injuries were treated in the field.
The Red Crescent also reported that Israeli forces fired on an ambulance and halted the movement of the medical team involved.