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Fears Far-Right March Could Escalate Tensions In East Jerusalem

May 24, 2022

Israeli forces stand in front of Muslim women praying in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque in the old city of Jerusalem on 20 April, 2022 (AFP)

 

By: Zahid Jadwat

 

The controversial ‘Flag March’ planned by far-right occupiers in East Jerusalem, set to go ahead on May 29, has sparked outrage amongst Palestinians. Hamas warned it will use “all capabilities” against the march.

 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh warned Israel in a Sunday speech against allowing right-wing Israelis to conduct the annual Jerusalem Day “Flag March” in Jerusalem’s Old City next week. The event celebrates Israel’s occupation of the area in 1967.

 

Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev said on Wednesday the march would take place along its “customary route” through Damascus Gate.

 

“I want to clearly warn the enemy against committing these crimes and these steps. The Palestinian people, led by the resistance — especially those in the West Bank and Jerusalem — will not permit this to go unanswered,” said Haniyeh, adding that “our decision is clear and unhesitating… We will resist with all our capabilities and we will not permit the violation of Masjid-Al-Aqsa or thuggery in the streets of Jerusalem”.

 

In an interview on Radio Islam, Hfz. Ebrahim Moosa said the controversial march has the potential to stoke existing tensions in the city. Violence broke out last April after far-right Israelis marched outside one of the entrances to the walled Old City, chanting “death to Arabs”.

 

“[The march] is just going to add to the sense of tension and provocation. The response from Palestinians to this is that the Israelis are once again playing with fire,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, the leader of the Israeli far-right group Lehava, Bentzi Gopstein, called for the demolition of the Dome of the Rock on the same day. He also called on Israeli settlers to break into Al-Aqsa and start dismantling the revered Muslim landmark in order to pave the way for the construction of a Jewish temple at Masjid-Al-Aqsa.

 

Moosa said: “Jerusalem Day is the day that is marked in Israeli society wherein Israel or Zionists took control of the eastern part of Jerusalem – including Masjid-Al-Aqsa in 1967. So [there is] a lot of provocation in that regard.”

 

Listen to the full Palestine Report here:

 

 

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