Israel approves Jewish ultra-nationalist march in Jerusalem

Israeli authorities said they have given the go-ahead for Jewish nationalists to march down the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City on May 29, in a move that threatens to reignite violence in the holy city. Every year, thousands of Israeli nationalists take part in the march, waving flags, singing songs and, in some cases, chanting anti-Arab slogans, as they walk past onlookers and Palestinian businesses.

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Wednesday they have given the go-ahead for flag-wielding Jewish nationalists to march through the heart of the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City later this month, in a move that threatens to return to ignite violence in the holy city.
Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev’s office said the march would take place on May 29 along its “usual route” through Damascus Gate.
Every year, thousands of Israeli nationalists take part in the march, waving Israeli flags, singing songs and, in some cases, chanting anti-Arab slogans, as they walk past Palestinian spectators and businesses.
Barlev’s office said the decision was made after consultation with police.
The march is meant to celebrate Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel later annexed the area in a step that is not recognized internationally. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.
Last year’s Gaza war broke out when the march was just beginning, even after authorities changed the route at the last moment to avoid Damascus Gate.
The Old City, located in east Jerusalem, has seen weeks of violent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters, and the march threatens to spark further unrest.
Tensions were also heightened by the Israeli police crackdown on the funeral of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last Friday. As the funeral procession progressed, police pushed and punched mourners, causing the pallbearers to lose control of the casket and nearly drop it.
Abu Akleh, a well-known journalist, was fatally shot while covering an Israeli military incursion into the occupied West Bank last week. Palestinians, including witnesses who were with her, say Israeli troops shot her. Israel says Palestinian gunmen were active in the area, and it is unclear who fired the deadly bullet.

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