[News] Israeli police crack down on Palestinians ahead of 'provocative' far-right march

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 26 15:40:59 EDT 2022

Israeli police crack down on Palestinians ahead of 'provocative' far-right
By MEE staff - May 26, 2022
[image: image.png]

Israeli <https://www.middleeasteye.net/countries/israel> police carried out
large-scale arrests in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday ahead of an
Israeli far-right march scheduled for Sunday.

According to local media
Israeli police detained more than 100 Palestinians this week in Jerusalem,
while dozens of residents have been temporarily expelled from the city and
al-Aqsa Mosque.

'The decision is in the hands of the Israelis and the international
community. They can avoid a war and escalation if they stop this mad

*- Bassem Naim, Hamas official*

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque from the side of the
Mughrabi Gate on Thursday, and, guarded by Israeli police, performed
religious rituals in its courtyards.

The Flag March is usually held on Jerusalem Day, which marks Israel's
capture and subsequent occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East

Last year’s Flag March was postponed
for about a month after Hamas fired four rockets from the besieged Gaza
Strip onto the outskirts of Jerusalem on 10 May, following violent Israeli
raids on Al-Aqsa and attempts to evict Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah
<https://www.middleeasteye.net/topics/sheikh-jarrah> neighbourhood to make
way for Israeli settlers. Israel responded with a deadly 11-day
Israeli offensive
on Gaza <https://www.middleeasteye.net/topics/gaza-under-attack> which
killed at least 260 Palestinians.

Israel's control of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, is considered
illegal under international law, which stipulate that an occupying power
has no sovereignty in the territory it occupies and cannot make any
permanent changes there.

Israeli settlers and far-right activists, protected by the police, have
been storming al-Aqsa Mosque on an almost daily basis.

  Such incursions are organised by "Temple Mount" groups who have pushed
for an increased Jewish presence at the site and advocate the destruction
of al-Aqsa Mosque
the Dome of the Rock to make way for a Third Temple.

Last week, Israeli authorities approved the annual march to pass through
Jerusalem's Damascus Gate and the Old City’s Muslim quarter, drawing
condemnations from the Palestinian Authority and activists.

The Palestinian foreign ministry called the decision to approve the event
"provocative, aggressive, and an integral part of the open occupation war
against Jerusalem, its citizens, and its sanctities."


The Israeli ‘Flag March’ explained

A senior Hamas politician on Thursday told Reuters that his movement, which
rules the Gaza Strip and has a military wing, and other Palestinian groups
are “ready to do all they can” to prevent the march.

"The decision is in the hands of the Israelis and the international
community. They can avoid a war and escalation if they stop this mad
(march)," Bassem Naim said.

"This march can be cancelled. It is a political step. It has nothing to do
with religion."

The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah party, Hassan Nasrallah, also warned
against allowing the march.

“I want to tell the enemy’s government… and those concerned with the
regional situation. Any violation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the
Rock will blow apart the region,” he said in a speech. “It will provoke all
the Arab and Islamic peoples and every free person.”

A statement by the Israeli police to Arabic media said that the police
Commissioner-General Yaakov Shabtai has ordered police units to prepare for
"a state of high alert".

Some 3,000 police and border guards will be deployed in Jerusalem on
Sunday, it said, "to ensure the procession along with thousands of
policemen who will operate across the country, including mixed cities and

It added that police forces are carrying out "wide-ranging preventive
activities" in Jerusalem and beyond, including the arrest of dozens
suspected of "inciting and planning riots".
Court rules against Jewish prayer in al-Aqsa

The crackdown on Palestinians comes after an Israeli appeals court quashed
a ruling allowing Jewish prayer on al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, a move
which had provoked heavy criticism from Palestinians.

On Sunday, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court overturned a police restraining
order against three Israeli far-right activists for praying at al-Aqsa
Mosque in violation of a longstanding understanding between Israel and
Jordan, which administers the mosque.

As part of the delicate decades-old arrangement, non-Muslims are allowed to
visit al-Aqsa under the supervision of the Waqf, a joint
Jordanian-Palestinian Islamic trust that manages the affairs of the mosque.

However, only Muslims are allowed to pray in the courtyards and prayer
halls of the mosque.

The three appealed the ban to the magistrate's court, which ruled in their

Judge Zion Saharai, while noting he did not intend to interfere in law
enforcement policy, said they had not "raise(d) worry of harm befalling
national security, public safety or individual security".

On Thursday, however, his ruling was overturned by the Jerusalem District
Court after a counter-appeal from the state.
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