Israel approves nationalist flag march through Jerusalem’s Old City

·2 min read
<p> Israelis march with national flags celebrating the Jerusalem liberation day at the Jaffa gate in the old city of Jerusalem, 10 May 2021. </p> (EPA)

Israelis march with national flags celebrating the Jerusalem liberation day at the Jaffa gate in the old city of Jerusalem, 10 May 2021.

(EPA)

The twice-postponed controversial annual Jerusalem Day Flag March, led by mostly ultranationalist Israelis, has been given government approval to go ahead next week.

It it still unknown if the march will go through the city’s Muslim Quarter, risking fresh violence between Arab-Israelis and Jews, as tensions remain high following 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas last month.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement Tuesday night with Defence Minister Benny Gantz following a security cabinet meeting to allow the Flag March on Tuesday, June 15.  

Watch: Israeli Forces Attack Finish Line of Race in East Jerusalem

That will be just two days after Israel’s new coalition government is expected to be sworn in, potentially ending Netanyahu’s rule, Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister’s 12 years in power.

The march marks the reunification of Jerusalem after the Israeli capture of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, a war that brought Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, back under Israeli rule.  

Israel later annexed East Jerusalem claiming sovereignty over the entire capital, a decision most of the international community does not recognise. The Flag March is often contentious because right wing Israelis parade through the Muslim Quarter claiming Israeli sovereignty, but the Arab residents still believe the area is disputed.

It was first postponed on May 10 but was postponed amid rising violent clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli police on the Temple Mount and nearby Sheikh Jarrah.

Later that day Hamas in Gaza fired rockets on Jerusalem, kicking off what became an 11-day deadly conflict between Israel and the militant group. 

The march was then scheduled for June 10 but was then pushed back until next week.

The fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is now in its third week.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister’s political fate is set to be decided on Sunday as lawmakers will hold a vote of confidence in a new coalition government at 4pm Local time.

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