Israel to allow right-wing march through Jerusalem’s Old City

The statement from Netanyahu’s office said the march would proceed in “a format” agreed to between police and organisers.

Israel’s outgoing government has said a controversial march by far-right nationalists and pro-government groups through East Jerusalem’s old city will go ahead next week, a decision taken a day after the event was called off due to security concerns.

Several right-wing Israeli groups had planned a so-called “flag march” through the old city’s Damascus Gate and into its Muslim quarter on Thursday, warning Hamas – the group that controls the besieged Gaza Strip – renewed of hostility to whether it should proceed.

Far-right groups called off the march after the police refused permission. But after a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet on Tuesday, his office said ministers had approved the march to be held next week.

“The parade will take place this coming Tuesday (June 15) as agreed between the police and the organizers of the parade,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.

A top Hamas official, Khalil al-Haya, warned Israel on Monday “against allowing marches into East Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque complex”.

“We hope the message is clear so that Thursday does not become [a new] May 10,” he said, referring to the start of last month’s 11-day fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Israel’s bombing killed at least 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, according to health officials in Gaza, while Israeli officials said two children were among the 12 people in Israel from rocket attacks carried out by armed groups in Gaza. were killed.

Israel’s raid on Gaza comes after weeks of rising tensions about the increasingly forced displacement of several Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood occupied by East Jerusalem, which Jewish settlers have been trying to expel for decades.

The situation escalated when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City – Islam’s third holiest site – and injured hundreds of Palestinian worshipers during days of violence.

Netanyahu faced the end of his long hold on power on Sunday, when the country’s legislature was about to vote to approve a government of various parties that came together to oust him.

If that vote is successful, it will be up to prime minister-optimist Naftali Bennett and his fellow opposition leader Yair Lapid to decide whether to proceed with the march.

Labor politician Gilad Kariv, a supporter of the coalition challenging Netanyahu, called the move “another chapter in the outgoing government’s attempt to leave a scorched earth”.

Whether the march goes ahead or not, tensions in Jerusalem are likely to remain high.


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