‘Impossible to prevent Jews from marching in Jerusalem,’ Ben-Gvir says at flag march; thousands attend

Apart from isolated clashes between security forces and Arab protesters, no unusual incidents were recorded.

By World Israel News Staff

An estimated 5,000 people took part in the annual Jerusalem parade on Tuesday afternoon under heavy security, despite calls by Palestinian leaders for a Day of Rage.

Other than last year, when the event was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions, the march takes place each year on Jerusalem Day, which this year fell on May 10. It was postponed until this week due to security concerns amid violent Arab rioting last month throughout the capital, but mostly in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Old City.

Apart from isolated clashes between security forces and Arab protesters, no unusual incidents were recorded.

As the march was taking place, clashes broke out in eastern Jerusalem between security forces and young Arabs waving flags and rioting. At one point, young Arabs waving a PLO flag tried to attack Jews, but police managed to stop them. At the same time, stones were thrown at the Ministry of Justice building from the direction of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood..

Two policemen were lightly injured. A total of 17 people were arrested for disturbances.

Lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Religious Zionism party arrived at the flag parade and slammed the new Israeli government and, in particular, Mansour Abbas, chairman of the Arab United List (Ra’am), who said the event was a “provocation.”

“It is not possible for a Knesset member to prevent a Jew from marching in Jerusalem with the Israeli flag. That is the face of this government,” Ben-Gvir said, Channel 13 reported.

Some participants shouted “Bennett is a traitor,” angry that the new prime minister, leader of the right-wing Yemina party, joined the Lapid-led coalition that includes the left-wing Meretz party and Ra’am.

A number of young extremists shouted, “Death to the Arabs.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid responded by saying: “The fact that there are extremists for whom the Israeli flag represents hatred and racism is abominable and unforgivable.”

“It is inconceivable how one can hold the Israeli flag in one’s hand and shout ‘death to the Arabs’ at the same time. Our flag. These people are a disgrace to the people of Israel,” he stated.

Members of Knesset belonging to the Arab Joint List arrived at Damascus Gate in protest of the parade.

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Matan Peleg, chairman of the Zionist Im Tirtzu movement and one of the organizers of the event, said that “Jerusalem has never been freer and safer for all ethnicities and religions than during Israeli sovereignty,” Channel 12 reported.

“We must not fold the flags and give up these historic assets because of terrorist organizations and other evil seekers, and we are happy that thousands of people have chosen to wave the Israeli flags proudly and without fear,” Peleg said.

Earlier in the day, he told Army Radio that the event would be peaceful and follow the route determined by officials.

“We will march, thousands of us, with flags where we’re told. Anywhere we’re told not to march – we won’t march,” he said.

The march concluded with dancing and prayers at the Western Wall along with the presence of thousands of police.