Israel’s outgoing government Tuesday approved a controversial march by far-right Jewish nationalists through occupied East Jerusalem next week, according to a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
“The march will be held on Tuesday, June 15,” the statement said, adding that the cabinet had approved the decision and that the event would be held in a format to “be agreed by police and organizers”.
Israel approves flag march through Jerusalem's Old City https://t.co/OuLji5Baqk
— Ulusal24 🔴 #Ulusal24 (@ulusal24) June 9, 2021
Organizers a day earlier had called off the march, originally due to take place on Thursday, due to Israeli police opposition to the route and as a top Hamas official warned Israel against letting it “approach east Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound”.
The so-called March of the flags was due to take place on Thursday and proceed through flashpoint spots in Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) June 8, 2021
News of its cancellation came as Khalil Hayya, a senior Hamas figure of the Palestinian group Hamas, warned the march could spark new violence. It was not clear if the cancellation was linked to his remarks.
Right-wing organizers described the march as a routine demonstration of free expression, but many critics feared it could set a match to already inflamed tensions, that have come as a result of Israel’s forced expulsion of Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)