Jerusalem Flag march is ‘grenade that could blow up region,’ terror groups warn

Lebanon-based terrorists threaten violent response to Flag March scheduled for Thursday if parade route includes Muslim neighborhood.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Terror groups based in Lebanon said that they were gearing up for a violent response to the Jerusalem Day flag march scheduled for Thursday, despite the fragile ceasefire between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel.

Speaking to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar newspaper, a senior terrorist said that multiple terror groups were coordinating regarding retaliatory measures – presumably firing rockets at Israeli civilian communities – ahead of the march in Jerusalem.

“The issue of the Flag March was not included in the ceasefire agreement, and the resistance has not taken its eye off the city at the moment and is ready to deal with any development or provocation by the occupation government,” the terrorist told the outlet.

The march could serve as a “grenade that may blow up the situation in all the Palestinian territories,” he warned.

Developments at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount are also being watched closely, he added. Any change to the status quo, such as allowing Jews freedom to pray at the site, could lead to a “campaign that will be bigger, more extensive and not limited to the Gaza Strip.”

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Each year, Israelis parade through the streets of Jerusalem, including the Muslim Quarter in the Old City, while waving Israeli flags as part of a public holiday commemorating the reunification of the capital city in 1967.

Pro-Palestinian activists and Arab-Israeli Palestinians have framed the presence of the country’s national flags in the Muslim neighborhood as a provocation, and recent years have seen clashes between Arabs and Jews during the event.

In May 2021, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caved to threats from terror groups and rerouted the march to avoid Muslim areas. Despite the concession, Hamas launched a rocket at Jerusalem during the celebrations, setting off the Operation Guardian of the Walls clash.

Less than 24 hours after the current ceasefire between Islamic Jihad and Israel, a rocket was launched towards Asheklon and other communities in southern Israel. Gaza terror groups claimed that the launch was the result of a “technical malfunction,” but Israel swiftly retaliated by bombing Hamas assets in the Strip.