Tensions in Jerusalem at start of Israeli ‘flag march’

Tensions in Jerusalem at start of Israeli 'flag march'. Credit Wikimedia

Jewish nationalists gather to celebrate ahead of the “Jerusalem Day” march in Jerusalem on Sunday 29 May, celebrating its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war

The annual Jerusalem procession draws thousands of cheering, chanting participants in its narrow, stone streets.

The timing of the annual event comes at a time of particularly high tensions following several months of deadly incidents and a year after tensions in the disputed Holy City exploded into war.

Some 2000 police were deployed to the event which began at 4:00.pm local time (14:00 CET) in west Jerusalem, according to the BBC.

Across annexed East Jerusalem, many Palestinians threw stones and shot fireworks towards police, who responded with stun grenades.

Police confirmed that approximately 2,600 people had joined the march.

Isolated clashes also broke out at the Old City’s Damascus Gate where dozens of Jewish nationalists danced in front of Palestinians, one of whom raised his shoe in an Arab insult.

Shrugging off calls for a rethink of the route from some of his coalition allies, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed on Sunday that the parade would go ahead as planned.

“Waving the Israeli flag in the capital of Israel is perfectly acceptable,” he said. “I ask the participants to celebrate in a responsible and dignified manner.”

Police reported more than 20 arrests over “disorderly conduct”.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

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