Despite threats from terror group, Jerusalem sees massive turn-out for event commemorating the 55th anniversary of the reunification of Israel’s capital city.
By World Israel News Staff
An estimated 50,000 Israelis took to the streets on Sunday and participated in the Jerusalem Day flag march, an event celebrating the reunification of Israel’s capital city in 1967.
Despite threats from terror groups including Hezbollah and Hamas, throngs of Israelis waved and danced with flags throughout the Old City, ending the march at the Western Wall.
Some 3,000 police officers were deployed at the march in order to maintain public order and prevent violence, though some Arab rioters clashed with the Jewish participants.
Scuffles were reported throughout the march’s vicinity in the Old City, at Damascus Gate, and in the eastern Jerusalem Shimon HaTzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood.
Arab rioters threw stones, bottles, and chairs, and physically attacked participants, though no serious injuries were reported.
MKs Itamar Ben Gvir, Betzalel Smotrich, and Miri Regev joined portions of the march, and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Western Wall shortly before the event began, waving an Israeli flag.
One of Regev’s bodyguards was lightly injured by a rock thrown by a Palestinian rioter near Damascus Gate.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that 40 Arabs had been injured during clashes, but only a handful required hospitalization. The vast majority of those injured had suffered from the effects of pepper spray.
Three Israelis were said to be hurt during clashes, but did not require additional medical treatment beyond first-aid at the site.
Dozens of Arabs are believed to have been detained, though reports varied as to the exact number.
Separately from the flag parade, a record number of Jews ascended to the Temple Mount on Sunday.
Some 2,626 Jews are believed to have visited the compound, where some sang the Israeli national anthem, prayed, and waved Israeli flags — in defiance of the status quo, which prohibits most expressions of Jewish or Israeli identity at the site.
Ekrima Sabri, the imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque and former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, bemoaned the parade’s success in a statement.
“Police and undercover officers brutally assaulted dozens of Palestinians who raised [Palestinian] flags on Salah El-Din Street,” Sabri claimed. “Scores [of Palestinians] have been detained, including girls.
“What happened today in Al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount] and Bab Al-Amud [Damascus Gate] has not happened since the conquering of Jerusalem in 1967.”