Israelis hold nationalist ‘flag march’ tour of Jerusalem’s Old City

Hundreds break into Al-Aqsa complex amid high tensions

1. Israel Flag Day
Israelis gather with flags at the Damascus Gate of the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on May 29, 2022, during the “flag march”. (Photo: AFP)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Thousands of Israelis on Sunday attended the annual nationalist “flag march” through occupied Jerusalem, waving Israeli flags and singing songs as they passed through the narrow streets of the Old City’s Muslim quarter, according to Al Jazeera.اضافة اعلان

The flag march takes place on Israel’s “Jerusalem Day”, celebrating the illegal occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

Parading settlers crossed the Damascus gate and marched through the main thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City on their way to the Western Wall, protected by Israeli forces — some 2,000 police were deployed for the event, AFP reported.

Palestinian businesses along the route were forced to close.

During the march, settlers chanted racist and other slogans calling for the death of Arabs, according to the Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

Across annexed East Jerusalem, many Palestinian flags flew from rooftops in protest of the nationalist march. A video, which went viral on Sunday, showed a drone carrying a Palestinian flag above the Damascus Gate during the march.

At least 24 Palestinians were injured in attacks by Israeli occupation forces and settlers in Jerusalem during the march.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Jerusalem reported that its crews dealt with at least 24 cases, including injuries from being shot by rubber-coated metal bullets, beatings, and pepper spray.

Eight people were taken to hospitals, it said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Sunday condemned the flag march and Israeli attacks on Palestinian citizens.

Settlers storm Al-Aqsa

Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of far-right Jewish nationalists entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, including settlers led by the leader of a small ultranationalist opposition party in Israel’s parliament, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The settlers were reportedly confronted by a handful of Palestinian worshipers who held a night vigil inside the compound in an attempt to foil the Israeli raids into the holy site.

According to eyewitnesses speaking to Wafa, an elderly Palestinian man was assaulted by Israeli forces and expelled from the site. At least 18 Palestinians were arrested within the Old City, according to Israeli forces.

An Al Jazeera correspondent said that Palestinian journalists and photographers were prevented from entering the compound and threatened with arrest.

The spokesperson for President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said that Israel was irresponsibly and recklessly playing with fire by allowing settlers to desecrate the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem and by escalating the killing of Palestinians.

Shtayyeh called on the international community and all international human rights and humanitarian organizations to intervene urgently to stop the violations against the holy places in the city of Jerusalem and to activate international resolutions to impose sanctions on all violations committed by Israel.

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