Israeli Nationalists Chant Racist Slogans Whereas Marching In Palestinian Space Of Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (AP) — 1000’s of ultranationalist Israelis marched by way of a delicate Palestinian space of Jerusalem on Wednesday in an annual procession, chanting racist slogans because the nation’s far-right nationwide safety minister boasted that Jews had prayed freely at a key holy website within the metropolis in violation of decades-old understandings.

The feedback by Itamar Ben-Gvir and the march in Jerusalem, the emotional coronary heart of the Israeli-Palestinian battle, threatened to stoke already excessive tensions which have gripped the area because the begin of the warfare in Gaza. The annual march, seen by Palestinians as provocative, helped set off an 11-day warfare in Gaza three years in the past.

Marchers convening exterior the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s historic Previous Metropolis, a central gathering place for Palestinians in east Jerusalem, chanted “Death to Arabs” and different anti-Arab and anti-Islamic slogans. They danced and waved Israeli flags because the procession kicked off.

Israeli nationalists rejoice their annual march within the Previous Metropolis of Jerusalem on June 5, 2024. Attendees chanted racist slogans whereas marching by way of the delicate Palestinian space of town, as far-right Israeli Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir boasted that Jews prayed freely at a key holy website in violation of decades-old understandings.

Amir Levy by way of Getty Photos

Ben-Gvir, who was as soon as on the fringes of Israeli politics however now holds a key place in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authorities, had insisted that the march observe its conventional route by way of the Palestinian space, regardless of tensions surging due to the warfare. Marchers entered the Muslim Quarter of the Previous Metropolis by way of Damascus Gate and ended on the Western Wall, the holiest place the place Jews can pray.

The police confused that the march wouldn’t enter the sprawling Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest website in Islam. The hilltop on which it stands is the holiest website for Jews, who check with it because the Temple Mount as a result of it was the situation of the Jewish temples in antiquity.

However activists mentioned tons of of Jews had visited the compound earlier within the day, and Ben-Gvir mentioned they prayed there freely, following what he mentioned was his personal coverage that permitted prayer there.

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir participates in the ultranationalist march through a sensitive Palestinian area of Jerusalem on June 5, 2024. Ben-Gvir boasted that Jews had prayed freely at a key holy site in the city, in violation of decades-old understandings.
Far-right Israeli Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir participates within the ultranationalist march by way of a delicate Palestinian space of Jerusalem on June 5, 2024. Ben-Gvir boasted that Jews had prayed freely at a key holy website within the metropolis, in violation of decades-old understandings.

Amir Levy by way of Getty Photos

Since Israel captured the positioning in 1967, Jews have been allowed to go to however not pray there. Perceived encroachments on the positioning have set off widespread violence on quite a lot of events going again many years.

“Jews prayed on the Temple Mount. This is the minister’s policy,” Ben-Gvir informed the Galey Israel radio station.

Netanyahu mentioned there had been no change to the understandings on the holy website that prevented Jewish prayer there.

Ben-Gvir has lengthy referred to as for larger Jewish entry to the holy website and has visited it repeatedly as a minister. Palestinians contemplate the mosque a nationwide image and think about such visits as provocative and as a possible precursor to Israel seizing management over the compound. Most rabbis forbid Jews from praying on the positioning, however there was a rising motion in recent times of Jews who help worship there.

The annual march commemorates “Jerusalem Day,” which marks Israel’s seize of east Jerusalem, together with the Previous Metropolis and its holy websites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, within the 1967 Mideast warfare.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its capital, however its annexation of east Jerusalem just isn’t internationally acknowledged. The Palestinians, who search east Jerusalem because the capital of a future state, see the march as a provocation.

Simply earlier than the march started, crowds scuffled with police and threw plastic bottles at a journalist sporting a vest with the phrase PRESS emblazoned on it. Police mentioned they arrested 18 marchers “on suspicion of violent crimes, assault and threats and disorderly conduct.”

Israeli nationalists attack a journalist during their annual march through a sensitive Palestinian area of Jerusalem on June 5, 2024.
Israeli nationalists assault a journalist throughout their annual march by way of a delicate Palestinian space of Jerusalem on June 5, 2024.

Amir Levy by way of Getty Photos

Police mentioned they deployed 3,000 safety personnel to make sure calm and had been seen arresting a number of Palestinian males earlier than the march obtained underway, main them away with their fingers sure behind their backs.

Ben-Gvir mentioned the march despatched a message to Hamas.

“We are delivering a message from here to Hamas: Jerusalem is ours. Damascus Gate is ours,” he informed marchers firstly of the rally. “And with God’s help total victory is ours,” Ben-Gvir mentioned, referring to the warfare in Gaza, which he has demanded that Israel proceed till Hamas is defeated.

Commenting on the march, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh mentioned “our people will not rest until the occupation is gone and an independent Palestinian state is established, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The march was happening as tensions over the Israel-Hamas warfare in Gaza are excessive. The warfare started with Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault into southern Israel, during which militants killed some 1,200 individuals, largely civilians, and kidnapped round 250 hostages. Israel responded with an enormous offensive that has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, in response to native well being officers, displaced a lot of the territory’s inhabitants and brought on widespread destruction.

The USA has thrown its weight behind a phased cease-fire and hostage launch outlined by President Joe Biden final week. However Israel says it received’t finish the warfare with out destroying Hamas, whereas the militant group is demanding a long-lasting cease-fire and the total withdrawal of Israeli forces.

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