Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government – Times of India


JERUSALEM: Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists paraded by way of east Jerusalem on Tuesday in a present of pressure that threatened to spark renewed violence simply weeks after a battle with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians in Gaza responded by launching incendiary balloons that set a minimum of 10 fires in southern Israel.
The march posed a test for Israel’s fragile new government in addition to the tenuous truce that ended final month’s 11-day battle between Israel and Hamas.
Palestinians contemplate the march, meant to rejoice Israel’s seize of east Jerusalem in 1967, as a provocation. Hamas known as on Palestinians to “resist” the parade, a model of which helped ignite final month’s 11-day Gaza battle.
With music blaring, a whole bunch of Jewish nationalists gathered a number of hundred meters away earlier than shifting in entrance of Damascus Gate. Most seemed to be younger males, and plenty of held blue-and-white Israeli flags as they danced and sang non secular songs. The crowd, whereas boisterous, seemed to be a lot smaller than throughout final month’s parade.
Ahead of the march, Israeli police cleared the realm in entrance of Damascus Gate, shut down roads to visitors, ordered retailers to shut and despatched away younger Palestinian protesters. Palestinians stated six folks had been arrested, and at 5 folks had been harm in clashes with police.
The parade supplied an early problem for Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, a hardline Israeli nationalist who has promised a realistic strategy as he presides over a fragile, various coalition government.
Though there have been issues the march would elevate tensions, canceling it will have opened Bennett and different proper-wing members of the coalition to intense criticism from those that would view it as a capitulation to Hamas. The coalition was sworn in on Sunday and contains events from throughout the political spectrum, together with a small Arab occasion.
Mansour Abbas, whose Raam occasion is the primary Arab faction to affix an Israeli coalition, stated the march was “an attempt to set the region on fire for political aims,” with the intention of undermining the new government.
Abbas stated the police and public safety minister ought to have cancelled the occasion. “I call on all sides not to be dragged into an escalation and maintain maximum restraint,” he stated.
In previous years, the march handed by way of Damascus Gate and into the center of the Muslim Quarter, a crowded Palestinian neighborhood with slender streets and alleys. But police modified the route Tuesday to keep away from the Muslim Quarter.
Instead, marchers had been to stroll across the historic partitions of the Old City and enter by way of Jaffa Gate, a major thoroughfare for vacationers, and head towards the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall, the holiest web site the place Jews can pray.
Damascus Gate is a focus of Palestinian life in east Jerusalem. Palestinian protesters repeatedly clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on public gatherings in the course of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April and May.
Those clashes finally unfold to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a flashpoint web site sacred to Jews and Muslims. Tensions on the time had been additional fueled by protests over the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian households by Jewish settlers, additionally in Jerusalem.
At the peak of these tensions, on May 10, Israeli ultranationalists held their annual flag parade. While it was diverted from the Damascus Gate on the final minute, it was seen by Palestinians as an unwelcome celebration of Israeli management over what they view as their capital.
In the title of defending the holy metropolis, Hamas fired lengthy-vary rockets at Jerusalem, disrupting the march and sparking the Gaza battle, which claimed greater than 250 Palestinian lives and killed 13 folks in Israel.
After capturing east Jerusalem in 1967, Israel annexed the in a transfer not acknowledged by most of the worldwide neighborhood. It considers your entire metropolis its capital, whereas the Palestinians need east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. The competing claims over east Jerusalem, dwelling to delicate Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy websites, lie on the coronary heart of the battle and have sparked many rounds of violence.
Ahead of the march, Hamas known as on Palestinians to indicate “valiant resistance” to the march. It urged folks to assemble in the Old City and on the Al-Aqsa Mosque to “rise up in the face of the occupier and resist it by all means to stop its crimes and arrogance.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Hamas-linked Palestinians launched a quantity of incendiary balloons from Gaza, setting off a minimum of 10 blazes in southern Israel, in keeping with Israel’s nationwide hearth division.
Abu Malek, one of the younger males launching the balloons, stated known as the transfer “an initial response” to the march.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, of the internationally backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, known as the march an “aggression against our people.”





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