Jerusalem24– Al-Quds – The Hebrew Channel 13 revealed on Tuesday evening the content of a message sent by Israel to Hamas through Qatari and Egyptian mediators regarding the so-called “Flag March” due to take place this Sunday in Jerusalem.
The flag march is meant to celebrate Israel’s capture and subsequent occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 six-day war. Each year, thousands of Israeli members of far-right groups participate in the march, waving Israeli flags and in some cases, chanting anti-Arab slogans, as they pass by Palestinian onlookers and businesses.
Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds further revealed that Palestinian sources informed them about multiple messages transmitted via mediators between Palestinian factions and Israeli authorities, warning that the passage of the flag march from Bab Al-Amoud (Damascus Gate, considered a hub of Palestinian life in the city) and the Old City would ignite an already tense situation and that the threat to storm Al-Aqsa on Jerusalem Day would “not go unnoticed”.
According to Channel 13, Israel claimed it was not willing to escalate the situation, and that the march would proceed along its usual path. Israel further said that if Hamas or other organizations launched any missiles at Jerusalem, it would respond forcefully and strike Gaza.
The Israeli army speculates that no rockets will actually be launched and no escalation will ensue.
According to Channel 13, the Israeli army has nevertheless decided to deploy Iron Dome batteries and prepare for the implementation of offensive plans.
Hebrew Reshet Kan channel reported last night that Israel is holding talks with international bodies including Egypt to prevent any escalation.
The official route and planning for the march were released yesterday. 8,000 settlers will walk between Bab Al-Amoud (also called Damascus Gate) to the so-called “Western Wall”, with a further 8,000 passing through Bab al-Khalil (Jaffa Gate). Tens of thousands are expected to take part in a “massive dance event” next to Bab Al-Khalil.
The Minister of Internal Security Omer Bar-Lev granted final approval for the procession last week “after consultations with the police”.