Palestinians, Israeli security forces clash as east Jerusalem simmers over march

  • Palestinians, Israeli security forces clash as east Jerusalem simmers over march

Palestinians, Israeli security forces clash as east Jerusalem simmers over march

Far-right Jewish extremists taking part in the parade chanted "Death to Arabs" and "This is our home".

Assailing the march as a "provocation", Palestinian factions have called for a "Day of Rage" in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

"Tensions rising again in Jerusalem at a very fragile and sensitive security and political time, when the United Nations and Egypt are actively engaged in solidifying the ceasefire", Wennesland said via Twitter.

Ultra-nationalist Israelis marched through east Jerusalem.

"We warn of the risky repercussions that may result from the occupying power's intention to allow extremist Israeli settlers to carry out the Flag March in occupied Jerusalem tomorrow", Shtayyeh tweeted in English.

Tuesday's march, due to begin at 6:30 p.m. (1530 GMT), poses an immediate challenge for new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who took office on Sunday and brought veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu's record-long rule to an end.

Earlier, Israeli groups prepared to carry out their procession in east Jerusalem on Tuesday and hoped to pass through Jerusalem's Old City as reports said there were clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Damascus Gate.

When the march was originally announced for last week, senior Hamas official Khalil Hayya warned it could spark a return to violence like that of May 10-21.

Israel carried out air strikes on the Gaza Strip early Wednesday after militants in the Palestinian territory sent incendiary balloons into the south of the country, in the first major conflict between the two sides since a flare-up in May in which hundreds were killed.

Instead, the route went around the ancient walls of the Old City and through Jaffa Gate, a main thoroughfare for tourists, and toward the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Far-right Religious Zionism party lawmaker MK Itamar Ben Gvir visits the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, June 10, 2021.

Hamas had threatened reprisals over the march, which celebrated the anniversary of Jerusalem's "re-unification" after Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and annexed it, a move not recognised by most of the worldwide community. But Israeli media said the crowd would walk past the Damascus Gate but not enter the Muslim Quarter. Palestinian protesters repeatedly clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April and May.

It urged people to gather in the Old City and at 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".

In Israel, 13 people were killed, including a soldier, by rockets and missiles fired from Gaza, the police and army said.

Abu Malek, one of the young men launching the balloons, called the move "an initial response" to the march.

New Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said Monday that the march will proceed as scheduled, following a meeting with Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai on preparations for the march.