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Witness: Alert in Jerusalem and confrontations in Nablus… Tension accompanies the march of the Israeli flags


While Israeli officials describe the parade as a celebratory event, it has in the past been marred by racist anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian chants.

East Jerusalem is witnessing a state of extreme tension with the Israeli government’s insistence on allowing the flag march to pass through Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter in the Old City.

This march is organized annually on the anniversary of Israel’s entry into East Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew calendar.

The march, during which the participants carry the Israeli flag, passes through the Damascus Gate, one of the gates of the Old City in East Jerusalem, and through the town itself, reaching Al-Buraq Wall, which is called the “Western Wall”.

Israeli alert

The Israeli forces mobilized thousands of their soldiers to secure the march, and imposed measures along the borders with the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, and raised the state of alert, while calls continue from Palestinian bodies and organizations to “mobilize and tie in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and raise the Palestinian flags in the city of Jerusalem.”

Israeli authorities said the heavy security presence was part of a determined effort to ensure Thursday’s controversial event passed without violence.

While Israeli officials describe the parade as a celebratory event, it has in the past been marred by racist anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian chants.

The “Returning to the Temple Mount” organization announced that a march with Israeli flags will be held at 12 noon today, Thursday, starting from Hebron Gate, the main western entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, to the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jews consider that the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the Temple Mount according to their belief, and that it contains the most important religious sanctities for them. Under international agreements, Jews are allowed to visit the site without praying there.

But the increase in such visits, along with sightings of some Jews performing prayers, has raised fears among Palestinians that Israel is trying to change the status quo, an accusation Israel denies.

Palestinian concerns

Some Palestinian parties and parties are afraid of the changes that occurred this year in the directions of the march of the flags.

This year, the Israelis will take two lanes, the first will pass through the Old City through Damascus Gate and then the Islamic Quarter towards the last celebration station in Al-Buraq Square, while the second lane will enter through Al-Khalil Gate (one of the gates of the Old City), passing through the Armenian Quarter to Al-Buraq Square.

For the first time since the march was organized, Aryeh King, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, announced, in a tweet on Twitter, new tracks for the “flag march.”

King called on the participants to take several paths, including: the Mount Al-Masharif road, leaving the “Beit Orot” settlement in the Al-Sawwana neighborhood, and the Mount of Olives road, leaving the “Har Hazetim” settlement in the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood.

The Israeli news channel “13” revealed the participation of 4 ministers in the march, namely the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, the Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich, the Minister of Transportation Miri Regev, and the Minister of Negev Development Isaac Wasserlov.

For his part, Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh condemned the flags’ march today, Thursday, describing that march as “absurd and provocative.”

Shtayyeh said in a statement, “The march of the flags does not give the occupation any legitimacy; it searches for it with absurd policies and repressive practices, and it does not gain any meanings or connotations that it tries to impose with the arrogance of blind power; just as it cannot change the features of the Holy City, with its stationed Jerusalemites, and its Islamic sanctities, And Christianity, and its features that reject the foreign invaders who come upon it.

Clashes in Nablus

In another context, 38 Palestinians were injured, Thursday, by Israeli army bullets, during the storming of the city of Nablus, in the northern West Bank.

This came according to a statement issued by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (non-governmental).

According to the statement, “the association’s staff dealt with 38 injuries during clashes that erupted between the Palestinians and the Israeli army in the city of Nablus.”

The association stated that “there was one injured by live bullets, two by metal bullets, and 35 by tear gas inhalation.”

Clashes erupted between young Palestinians and the Israeli army in the early hours of Thursday morning, during the storming of Nablus.

The Israeli army used live and metal bullets and tear gas canisters, while Palestinian youths blocked the roads in front of military vehicles, throwing stones and empty bottles at them.

Clashes usually erupt between the Palestinians and the Israeli army during operations carried out by the latter under the pretext of searching for wanted persons.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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