Israel Netanyahu says Jerusalem Flag March to go ‘as planned’

Middle East Monitor  /  May 15, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Monday that a controversial flag march through Occupied East Jerusalem will take place on Thursday [May 18] as planned, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Flag March is staged by Jewish settlers every year to mark what they call the unification of Jerusalem, in reference to Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.

“The flag march will continue as planned, as usual, on its route,” Netanyahu told members of his right-wing Likud Party in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

The march triggered violent clashes with Palestinians in recent years, including an 11-day fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza in May 2021.

According to Israeli Channel 13, four Israeli ministers are scheduled to join the flag march, including far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich.

Israeli police said it will deploy 2,000 police officers during the march across East Jerusalem.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.