Fearing Provocation, Israel Police Stop Jewish March to Muslim Quarter
Demonstrators scuffle with Israeli police officers during the flag march organized by far-right parties and organizations in Jerusalem, April 20, 2022. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

Fearing Provocation, Israel Police Stop Jewish March to Muslim Quarter

Israeli marchers and Palestinian residents respond to march organized by Israeli right-wing organizations

An estimated 1,000 Jewish Israeli protesters tried to stage a flag rally in Jerusalem on Wednesday, aiming to go through the Old City’s Damascus Gate and enter the Muslim Quarter. Israeli police officers prevented them from proceeding, fearing the rally could create friction between Jews and Palestinians in the city. The rally comes after several days of clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, with the organizers asserting that the march was intended as a show of “confidence and Israeli sovereignty.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered police to prevent Member of Knesset Itamar Ben-Gvir from arriving at Damascus Gate, saying that the presence of the far-right parliamentarian would likely spark violence, endangering IDF soldiers and Israel Police officers.

The Islamist armed group Hamas warned ahead of the rally that Israel would bear responsibility for the consequences if Jews were to march near Muslim holy sites in the Old City.

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