IDF braces for Palestinian violence ahead of Jerusalem flag parade

Iron Dome batteries and extra police officers are deployed as terror groups threaten violence.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli security services are gearing up for Palestinian violence ahead of today’s rescheduled Jerusalem flag parade.

“The situation in the Palestinian sphere is volatile and we are prepared for a renewed outbreak of fighting,” said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi.

Iron Dome batteries were deployed around the country and the police were placed on high alert. Some 2,000 police officers are in Jerusalem ahead of the parade, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 PM.

Palestinian terror groups have threatened violence if the parade passes the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City. Hamas reportedly warned Egyptian mediators it was prepared to fire rockets. Gaza terror factions said they are also preparing to launch terror balloons. Hamas also called on Palestinians riot on the Temple Mount and around Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

“The flags march is like an explosive that will cause a new campaign to protect Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to ignite,” Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif Qanou said in a statement.

“The occupier has re-released his stray hordes to defile the alleys and roads of Old Jerusalem, and to hoist the flags of the fleeting [Israeli] entity, in a move that only reflects its failure and regression,” a separate Hamas statement said.

After meeting with police officials Monday night, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said he was satisfied with the security preparations and gave a green light for the march.

According to reports, marchers will be allowed to congregate and dance outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate, but not enter the Old City to pass through the Muslim Quarter. Rather, the parade will pass through the nearby Jaffa Gate and proceed to the Western Wall via David Street and the Street of the Chain, which are between the Jewish and Arab Quarters. Those streets are made up of mostly Arab shops.

As the threats of escalation rose, the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem prohibited diplomats and their families from entering the Old City today.

The annual flag parade is held on Jerusalem Day, which marks the anniversary of the city’s reunification during the Six Day War in 1967. Last month’s march was cancelled amid Gaza rocket fire and the failure of police and march organizers to agree on a route. In 2020, because of the Covid pandemic, the parade was scrapped for a smaller human chain.

The parade’s organizers include right-wing and religious organizations and youth groups such as Bnei Akiva, Ezra, and Im Tirtzu, as well as the regional councils of several Judea and Samaria communities.