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Israel’s defense minister announced on Saturday night that he would call for this year’s Jerusalem Day Flag March to be cancelled, citing the need for special security measures to secure the event as well as its potential disruption to the formation of Israel’s new government coalition.
The march, which was originally scheduled for May 10 as part of the Jerusalem Day events, was delayed due to the eruption of fighting with terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip last month. Jerusalem Day celebrates the unification of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War. The march was rescheduled for June 10.
The proposed route for the June 10 parade is similar to that set for the original event, running through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and ending at the Western Wall, where prayers are to be held.
The planned event has drawn opposition from senior security officials, with four former Jerusalem police commanders separately telling Channel 12 that they wouldn’t permit the march if it were up to them.
Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Religious Zionist Party, one of the organizers of the event, struck a defiant tone.
“In the face of the wrath of the emerging far-left government, we will march in Jerusalem,” he said. “Amazing: After they sold the Negev, conceded the rule of law and folded before [Arab party] Ra’am, now the Jerusalem Flag March is causing them to claim that it’s a provocation. Jerusalem is our capital forever and for eternity and we will walk in it everywhere, happily,” he added.
The Hamas terrorist group on Saturday called on Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to protest on the Temple Mount if the march goes ahead as planned.
Muhammad Hamadeh, Hamas’s spokesman in eastern Jerusalem, said in a statement that the organization was “warning Israel against using Jerusalem as a tool to evade its internal crisis and its failure to resolve its political problems.”
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