Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, parade of tens of thousands of Israelis waving national flags, police on alert: Tensions escalate, Sunday, May 29, in Jerusalem on the occasion of the “flag march” marking the occupation of the eastern part of the holy city from Israel.
Part of central Jerusalem ends at the Western Wall, the holiest of Jewish prayer places below the mosque plaza, the march that gathered 70,000 people according to police, crossed the Old City of East Jerusalem, an occupied area. By Israel since 1967 and annexed. On Sunday morning, a few hours before the rally that began at 4 p.m. local time, the Israeli far-right movement Itamar Ben Gvir headed to the mosque square.
This is the third holiest site in Islam is also the holiest site in Judaism under its name “Temple Mount”. “I have come to support the security forces and I expect the police to enforce order on the Temple Mount. (…) I came today to confirm that we, the State of Israel, have sovereignty here.”Release.
Under the current historical situation, non-Muslims can go to the square, enter through one door and at specific times, but they cannot pray there. However, in recent years, an increasing number of Jews, often nationalists, are surreptitiously praying there, a gesture that has been denounced as ” excitement “ by the Palestinians.
On Sunday, about 2,600 non-Muslims, mostly tourists but also Israelis, visited the campus, police said, stressing that the number is much higher than in Israel, which is the norm for a day.
face to face
Israelis, many of them young and nationalistic, entered the Old City through Bab al-Amud overlooking the Muslim Quarter. Brief clashes against Palestinians and Israeli police have arrested several Palestinians, according to a photographer from Agence France-Presse (AFP) present on the spot. And in the Muslim Quarter, projectiles were thrown at pedestrians, as were water bottles on stretchers carrying a wounded Palestinian.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that at least 79 people were injured in the city in various accidents. The police reported that about sixty had been arrested, without further details.
The majority of merchants closed their shops in the Muslim Quarter and residents stayed home. An AFP journalist noted that dozens of young nationalist Jews sang and danced in the street, waving Israeli flags.
Fearing slips, the police mobilized more than 2,000 officers to march on Jerusalem Day, or Jerusalem Day, which coincides with Israel’s “reunification” of the holy city, after occupying and annexing the eastern part of it.
According to the website of the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretzAnd the “The Jewish participants entered the Muslim Quarter, pepper-sprayed and beat the Palestinians, who in turn threw chairs and bottles at the Israelis”.
In an altercation, an Israeli Jew was seen using pepper spray against a Palestinian woman.add the Times of Israel.
Threatening to escalate violence
Last year, on the day designated for the “March of the Flags” according to the Hebrew calendar and days after the Israeli-Palestinian violence in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Hamas that holds power in Gaza fired a barrage of rockets at Israel, in the prelude to an eleven-day war between the two camps.
This year Palestinian groups threatened again ” Answer “ In the event of violence during the march, or even if the participants go to the park. We will not hesitate to use all possible means. (…) Israel will pay a heavy price.”Ghazi Hamad warned, on Saturday, the leader of the Islamic movement Hamas.
But according to Shlomo Mofaz, a security analyst and former officer in Israeli Military Intelligence, “Hamas has no interest in waging a new war,” he added (…) Because it focuses on the reconstruction of Gaza.”.
However, he notes, violence with Palestinian casualties or deaths may prompt him, or other Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad, to act. And to add: ” Can “ that Iran is a supporter of these groups and an enemy of Israel, ” he goes [les] We encourage you to break the routine.” And firing rockets at Israel.
The United Nations’ chief mediator for the Middle East, Tor Wencesland, urged Palestinians and Israelis to avoid ‘New escalation’.