The new Israeli government does not approve right-wing marches through Jerusalem | Israel-Palestinian conflict news
The new Israeli government approved a controversial demonstration by far-right nationalists and pro-settler groups through the occupied East Jerusalem Old City, where Benjamin Netanyahu handed over power to Prime Minister Naftali Bene In just a few hours, this step may increase tensions with the Palestinians.
It is expected that on Tuesday, several Israeli right-wing groups will participate in the so-called “flag march”, passing through the walled old city Damascus gate and entering the Muslim quarter, which will cause Hamas to warn that the organization is under siege. The Gaza Strip — if it continues, hostilities will break out again.
This move is because the tensions in East Jerusalem are still severe and because Israel plans to forcibly deport Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah.
After Israel’s 11-day military bombing of the enclave, a fragile ceasefire was reached in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing 253 people, including 66 children. During the escalation of violence, at least 13 Israelis were killed by rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.
The Palestinian factions called for a “day of anger” for the march. Last month, Israel suppressed protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, injuring hundreds of Palestinians.
“This is a provocation to our people, an aggression against our Jerusalem and our holy places,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Steyer said of the parade.
According to a statement issued by the Israeli media, after meeting with the Israeli police chief and other security officials, the newly sworn-in Minister of Internal Security Omar Barlev approved the march and stated that the police were fully prepared.
“[Great] Efforts are being made to protect the delicate structure of life and public safety,” Barev said.
It is not clear whether participants will be allowed to enter the Muslim quarter of the old city, which was previously prohibited by the Israeli police.
As tensions in Jerusalem escalated, the parade originally scheduled for May 10 was diverted at the last minute.
Hamas warned that if it continues, hostilities will restart. Israeli media reported that the military is ready for a possible escalation.
The US Embassy in Jerusalem banned its personnel and their families from entering the Old City on Tuesday “because of calling for the holding of a Jerusalem flag parade and possible counter-demonstrations.”
The march posed a direct challenge to the Bennett government, which received parliamentary approval by a vote of 60 to 59 on Sunday.
Changing the course or canceling the march may expose the Israeli government to accusations from the opposition Netanyahu and his right-wing allies, that is, to grant Hamas the right to veto the Jerusalem incident.
Yoav Segalovitz, the deputy interior minister, hinted that the route might be adjusted. He said that past governments had prevented nationalists from visiting Muslim places during periods of tension.
“The most important thing is to consider what is right at this time,” he told Israel’s Kan radio station.
The formation of Bennett’s right-wing, center-wing, left-wing, and Arab party alliances has little in common except for the hope to overthrow Netanyahu. This limited the alliance building efforts after the March 23 elections. The fourth election in the past year.
Minutes after meeting with 49-year-old Bennett, Netanyahu again promised to overthrow his government.
“It will happen sooner than you think,” Netanyahu, 71, said in a public speech to right-wing Likud lawmakers, who served a record 12 consecutive years in office.
Since any discord among its members poses a potential threat to its stability, the new Israeli government hopes to focus on domestic reforms and the economy, and avoid issues such as policies towards the Palestinians.