Hundreds of Israeli Settlers March Through Palestinian Areas in Jerusalem

12:00 Apr 20 2022 al-Aqsa Compound ( ٱلْمَسْجِد ٱلْأَقْصَىٰ) * Temple Mount ( הַר הַבַּיִת,)

People gather for a right-wing march in Jerusalem's Safra Square, on Wednesday. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg Published by Haaretz

Itamar Ben-Gvir at Safra Square in Jerusalem, Wednesday. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg Published by Haaretz

Scene in Jerusalem. Published by IMEMC News

by IMEMC News
April 21, 2022

Hundreds of Israeli settlers organized a provocative march in the occupied city of Jerusalem on Wednesday, waving Israeli flags and chanting anti-Palestinian slogans while marching through Palestinian areas. The march was led by Itamar Ben Gvir, an ultra-nationalist Israeli legislator who is known for staging provocative visits to P lawmaker who frequently stages provocative visits to Palestinian holy sites.

The march was held on the fourth day of the Hebrew Passover, and in the midst of repeated Israeli invasions of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Over 400 Palestinians have been abducted by Israeli forces over the past week while trying to pray at the mosque, and protesting the Israeli aggression.

The march set out from Jaffa Street and marched to the Bab Al-Jadeed (New Gate) of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Itamar Ben Gvir and the other marchers are avowed followers of the late Meir Kahane. A year ago, in 2021, during a similar upsurge of right-wing Israeli attacks on Palestinians and provocations, the Associated Press wrote, “Admirers of Kahane were elected to parliament in March as allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, and one of the most prominent has become a fixture on Israeli TV.

“Their resurgence has injected another element of volatility to the conflict. It’s also part of a broader shift to the right in Israel, where Kahane’s disciples are hardly alone in adopting a hard line toward the Palestinians and trafficking in anti-Arab rhetoric. Right-wing parties that support Jewish settlements and oppose Palestinian independence won a large majority of seats in March, and Netanyahu and other right-wing leaders have often cast Israel’s Arab minority as a fifth column — unless they needed their votes.

“During his lone term in parliament in the mid-1980s, before he was banned, Kahane was shunned by colleagues, including the Likud, and frequently gave speeches to an empty chamber. His racist agenda called for banning intermarriage between Arabs and Jews, stripping Arabs of their Israeli citizenship, and the mass expulsions of Palestinians. At one point, he was suspended for waving a noose at an Arab lawmaker.”

The right-wing march on Wednesday was given support by Israeli police, who blocked roads and established barricades to allow the march to take place.

The marchers claimed they were challenging the loss of “Israeli sovereignty in occupied Jerusalem”. Jerusalem has been under Israeli military control since 1967, but has been the Palestinian capital long before the Israeli military took it over.

In response to the provocative march, dozens of Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem gathered in the Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) area to, chanting slogans and shouting. Israeli forces attacked the Palestinian protesters and abducted one of them after beating him.

The Israeli police closed several streets in occupied Jerusalem, and tried to empty the commercial stalls and evacuate the vendors.


Israel Police Blocked Route as Hundreds Marched Towards Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter

Hamas says Israel should bear full responsibility for march's consequence ■ Far-right lawmaker Ben-Gvir joins marchers ■ 20 breach barriers to reach Damascus Gate

by Jonathan Lis, Jack Khoury and Nir Hasson for Haaretz
Apr. 20, 2022 5:27 PM

Israel police blocked the route to Jerusalem's Damascus Gate on Wednesday as hundreds of right-wing activists defied police orders and began marching toward the Old City's Muslim Quarter.

As tensions mounted, some 20 people managed to breach police barriers and reach the gate, but were turned back by officers.

Police arrested two Palestinians in the Damascus Gate area, one on suspicion of throwing a bottle at security forces, and the other on suspicion of throwing stones at them.

Right-wing organizers blamed the government for the ban on holding the Flag March, rejecting the police claim that they had initially agreed to hold the march along an alternative route and then went back on the agreement.

"We will follow a route planned through the Old City, and hope the police will be brave and accompany the march," they said. "In any case, the police cannot stop people from walking with a flag to the Western Wall in the territories of the State of Israel. There is no such order."

Although the organizers initially said they would not march in violation of the police’s orders, they later called for the public to come to Safra Square in front of Jerusalem City Hall at 5 P.M. for the start of the march, saying, “We will bring back the feeling of safety to the streets of Jerusalem.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Hamas responded in a press release, saying they were warning the occupation and the marchers approaching the holy sites, adding that the "occupation's leadership" should bear full responsibility for the consequences of what it called dangerous and provocative moves.

“We know what happened last year during the march and the firing of the rockets from Gaza that led to Operation Guardian of the Walls, and we don’t want a Guardian of the Walls 2, so the police will not approve the march and will act according to the law in this case,” a senior police officer told Haaretz.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid criticized the planned march, calling it "a provocation that causes us damage." He added that "these are radicals who are interested in creating provocations. What they want is for there to be violence and a conflagration that will burn Jerusalem. We won't allow them to burn Jerusalem for their politics."

Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir was among those present for the march, having earlier on Wednesday been forbidden by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett from visiting Damascus Gate in the Old City. "There's no reason in the world for a Jew to not be able to march by the walls of Jerusalem," Ben-Gvir said. "Our problem is Naftali Bennett, who abandoned the police."

Ben-Gvir also announced that he was bringing his mobile office to Tzahal Square, the site where police had set up barricades on the way to the Damascus Gate.

The march comes amidst heightened tensions in Jerusalem, with clashes between security forces and Palestinians culminating in Israeli forces' entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday.

Further clashes took place Wednesday morning between Palestinians and the police at Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound — a site that has long been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence.

A Molotov cocktail thrown by a Palestinian started a small fire in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was quickly put out, while Palestinians also threw rocks at police present to protect Jews visiting the holy site on the Passover holiday.
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