Jerusalem (EFE).- Thousands of far-right Israelis, many of them settlers, will attend the controversial March of the Flags this afternoon in Jerusalem, which commemorates the occupation in 1967 of the eastern part of the city, for which the city is on high alert amid high tension with the Palestinians, who see the march as a provocation.
More than 3,000 police officers have been deployed throughout the city and access roads, as many of the attendees come from Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank; to celebrate what for them is the “unification” of the “single and indivisible capital” of Israel, although the eastern half is called to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The march comes five days after Israel reached a fragile truce with Palestinian militias in Gaza after five days of escalating warfare – which killed 33 Palestinians in Gaza and two people on Israeli soil – so the risk of repeat a rise in voltage is not ruled out.
It is even possible that the militias will resume firing rockets from the Strip and the batteries of anti-aircraft systems have been prepared in Israel, although the Israeli security establishment is confident that this will not happen in the midst of that Egyptian-brokered truce.
This year the march has obtained permits to cross the Muslim quarter of the Old City, in the occupied eastern part of the city -which Israel unilaterally annexed in 1980-, for which the Islamist movement Hamas yesterday called on the Palestinians to confront this ultranationalist demonstration in Jerusalem.
In addition, various factions called for a “March of the Palestinian Flags” in Gaza City, at the same time as the Israelis.
Orthodox Jewish and ultranationalist Israelis are the profile of attendees who attend this march every year waving Israeli flags; that coincide with the profile of the voter of Jewish Power and Religious Zionism, led by Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich -ministers of National Security and Finance, respectively-, who this year are part of the government coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time.
In addition to Ben Gvir and Smotrich, other ministers such as Transport Miri Regev; the development of the Negev and Galilee, Yitzhak Wasserlauf; and that of Jerusalem Affairs, the ultra-orthodox Meir Porush, attend this march that was already one of the triggers for a war escalation with Palestinian militias in Gaza in May 2021.
Violent acts against Palestinians, hate speech and chants of “death to the Arab” occur year after year in this demonstration, in which they march to the Wailing Wall touring the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City -with an Arab population-, all this in the eastern part, occupied by Israel in 1967 during the Six Day War.
As a result, Palestinian militias have threatened to fire projectiles, and Gaza’s explosive balloon unit, which frequently launches balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices into Israel – without causing much damage beyond minor fires – has warned that It will resume its activities this Thursday.
Before the march, hundreds of Jews tried to access the Esplanade of the Mosques in the morning -where worship is only allowed to Muslims-, but the ministers Ben Gvir and Wasserlauf did enter, another component of tension for this complicated day.
The Esplanade is the third holiest place for Islam and the holiest for Judaism, who call it the Temple Mount, because they believe that the Second Temple was erected there; although according to Jewish laws, only a few rabbis can access there and the bulk of the faithful must pray at a safe distance, at the fenced-in Wailing Wall.
However, in recent years, some politicized rabbis, framed with the movement of religious Zionism, have changed their positions and encouraged entering to pray in that compound, one of the hottest spots in the Middle East, triggering tensions not only with the Palestinians, but with the entire Arab world.