Thousands of far-right Israeli settlers intend to march on 18 May through Muslim areas of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City in a controversial Flag March seen as highly provocative by Palestinians.
Israeli fanatics participants usually wave Israeli flags, conduct proactive Talmudic rituals, and chant anti-Arab slogans as they pass through Palestinian neighborhoods.
Israeli occupation gave the go-ahead for far-right Israeli settlers to march through the heart of the mainly Palestinian thoroughfare in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City on 18 May, in a decision that threatens to re-ignite violence in the holy city.
What is Flag March?
Flag March is meant to celebrate the Israeli occupation of Palestinian East Jerusalem following the 6-day war in 1967, a step that is not internationally recognized.
The Israeli rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook and the students of the extremist religious school Merkaz Harab are the founders of the flag march in which the solid nucleus of Israeli settler organizations was formed.
The march is being held by Israeli radicals who claim that the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to them in an attempt to consolidate the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and keep Palestinians under Israel’s systematic regime of oppression.
The march is organized by members of far-right Jewish movements and activists and is supported by pro-settlement groups and politicians.
The march is taking place in occupied East Jerusalem, which is Palestinian land that was illegally occupied by Israeli forces.
Flag March is seen as an endorsement of Israel’s occupation, considered illegal under international law, and undermining Palestinian rights and existence in occupied Jerusalem.
While Israeli occupation has never officially approved a route that would see the march entering the Al-Aqsa compound, Israeli settlers demanded the new far-right Israeli government to give them the green light to storm Al-Aqsa mosque which has been stormed by Israeli settlers on a regular basis.
Israeli occupation is irresponsibly and recklessly playing with fire by allowing Israeli settlers to desecrate the holy sites in East Jerusalem.
The march led to violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces protecting the colonial settlers at a flashpoint holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Palestinians view such actions as incendiary and resistance groups are not tolerate it.
In 2021, The Flag March was followed by weeks of violence by Israeli forces and far-right settlers on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The UN Humanitarian Affairs office in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHA) said that the Israeli forces wounded 1,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem between 7 and 10 May.
Israeli occupation followed up its crackdown on Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem with full military aggression on Gaza, claiming that the aggression was a response to projectiles fired at the Israeli military posts around Gaza borders by Palestinian resistance.
More than 253 people were killed, including 66 children and 35 women, after 11 days of indiscriminate attacks on the besieged population of Gaza. A further two thousand were injured and tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes.
A month prior to the Gaza offensive, Israeli forces authorized the expulsion of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.
The families had been fighting a fierce legal battle in Israeli courts to stop their forcible expulsion to allow illegal Israeli settlers to take over their homes and properties.
The United Nations had warned that the planned expulsions could amount to “war crimes”.
Israeli settlers and other non-Muslims are allowed to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound at certain times but are forbidden to pray or display any religious or national symbols under a long-standing agreement with the Muslim authority which administers the compound.
The site is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and contains the al-Aqsa (Qibli) mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.
This year’s march will take place amid an already highly charged atmosphere following a 5-day deadly onslaught on Gaza by the Israeli occupation in which 33 Palestinians were killed, including 6 children, and 191 others injured.
Almost 800 Palestinians have been displaced by the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which began on Tuesday.
According to the Ministry of Social Development in the besieged coastal enclave, 784 people have been internally displaced.
Tags Al-Aqsa mosque Israeli forces Israeli Settlers Jerusalem