Israel doubles down on route choice for controversial Jerusalem ‘Flag March’

Jewish ultra-nationalists wave Israeli flags during the 'Flags March', next to Damascus gate, outside Jerusalem's Old City, June 2021 (Mahmoud Illean - AP)

Middle East Monitor  /  May 27, 2022

Despite warnings of serious repercussions and violence, Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, on Friday, decided not to change the route of the controversial Israeli ‘Flag March’ that will pass through occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu News Agency reports.

A statement from Bennett’s office said the Premier spoke over the phone with Public Security Minister, Omer Barlev, Israeli police chief, Kobi Shabtai, and other security officials to finalize preparations for holding the march on Sunday as planned.

Bennett said, like in the past, the march will end in the courtyard of Al-Buraq Wall, or Western Wall, adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and will not pass through Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

The annual ‘Flag March’, which celebrates Israel’s capture of the Old City in the 1967 June War, is expected to pass through Bab al-Amud area (Damascus Gate area) and East Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Islamist Hamas group earlier warned Israel that it risks another war if it allows the march through Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex is located, during the 1967 June War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.