Thousands of Israelis celebrate 55th anniversary of unification of disputed Jerusalem
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“we are not afraid…Jerusalem It’s ours!” sings a group of Jewish teenagers waving the Israeli flag at the entrance to the old city. In the distance, two Palestinians also respond by shouting: “al qudso belongs to us, Allah is great!” Such a dialectical pair, full of passion and enmity and Suffering from verbal violence and sometimes physical trauma, took place on the streets dominated by flags. In Jerusalem, more than anywhere else, it is not only a piece of clothing but an act of claiming identity.
Fearing clear skies and warmer weather temperatures and an escalation on this date as in previous years, thousands of Israelis, mostly from the religious Zionist region, took part in the traditional “parade of flags”. To commemorate the 55th anniversary of the unification of the disputed Jerusalem,
Moments of greatest tension between Palestinians and Israelis occurred in the Damascus Gate area, where the most militant part of the march entered the old city and ended with dancing and prayer at the Wailing Wall.
On the “balcony” of the Damascus Gate, hovered not only a drone with a Palestinian flag sent in response to Jewish nationalist chants, but also a commemoration of last year’s “Jerusalem Day”. Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided, to avoid an escalation, that the parade would not pass through this symbolic access to the eastern side of the city occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, but the Islamic group Hamas launched several projectiles against Jerusalem. . The climax of weeks of tension which had as their epicenter the Noble Sanctuary (Islam) or Temple Mount (Judaism). Eleven days of hard-fought confrontation between Israel and Gaza factions begins, A year later, the government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapidygave the green light to 8,000 participants to cross the Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter and the rest to do so through the approach to the city centre.
The police have raised their alert to the highest level not only in Jerusalem, with the deployment of 3000 agents, but also in some mixed cities. Last year recorded mutual attacks between Jews and Arabs, The military consolidated its deployment of anti-aircraft batteries due to the possibility of launching projectiles after warnings from Hamas and Jihad.
“The Palestinians should go to Al Aqsa so that the Jewish settlers do not contaminate it. We do not rule out any alternatives,” a Hamas spokesman warned. Mohamed Hamdi Alluding to attacks and even another armed confrontation. Via Egypt and Qatar, Israel sent a message to Hamas that the parade would march, as it did since its inception 34 years ago, far from a sensitive sanctuary for both religions.
For Palestinians, the “parade of flags” is an act of provocation by Jewish ultra-nationalists not only because of the location chosen, but also because it usually includes insults by the most radical, such as “Death to the Arabs”. It is no coincidence that business in the Arab Souq closed hours earlier. “You never know what they might do, maybe they attack the store, so we stop first,” said Palestinian Abu Rami while locking his compound a few meters from the old city of El Mundo. Said to. ,al qudso Always be Palestinian no matter how many Israeli flags they bring to provoke.”Mohamed joined for several hours in front of the Damascus Gate held by Israeli police and protesters.
“As every year, I am here because the land of Israel is ours. Why is there excitement in our capital to walk with our flag? Arabs are in our parks, shopping malls, hospitals and universities and nothing happens”, replied Nissim Pormoche who arrived from Ashkelon with a flag-shaped outfit.
Consensus in Israel on the status of Jerusalem’s capital is hazy over whether flag marches should pass through an access used primarily by Palestinians. The best reflection of division can be seen in the most heterogeneous government coalition in Israel’s history., While its right-wing and centrist members support Israel’s claim of sovereignty or “not giving it to Hamas”, which sought to change the itinerary, its more left-wing wing (Meretz) and the Arab Party. Window Condemn that it is a “provocation”.
It was also the fifteenth test for the alliance that has set fire in recent days with almost fresh elections being called. New internal conflict and a war with Hamas will destroy the fragile bridges that united the right, left and Arabs in a coalition formed a year ago. Something that is the will of far-right deputy Itamar ben Gwir, who visited the sanctuary in the historic center of Jerusalem early in the morning. “It can’t be that every time a Jew goes to Temple Mount, the Palestinians attack him. And shout at him that the Jews are to be executed”, said the most popular leader in the ultra-nationalist bases.
Jerusalem is one of the most attractive cities, but at the same time complex because it has a lot of history, religion, politics and demographics, with about one million inhabitants (61.2% Jewish and 38.8% Palestinian). The beauty of the holy city fails to hide its deepest rift: 38% of their families live below the poverty line.
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