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Palestine PM says Israeli flag march ‘crossed all red lines

Palestine PM says Israeli flag march ‘crossed all red lines

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has condemned far-right Israeli attacks in occupied East Jerusalem as “violence that crossed all red lines.”

Tens of thousands of ultranationalist Israelis attacked the Muslim area of the Old City during the so-called “flag march” on Sunday. The provocative march, which took place in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, was intended to mark Israel’s 1967 occupation and subsequent annexation of East Jerusalem, a decision that the international community has not recognized.

Some chanted racist slogans like “Death to Arabs” and insulted Palestinian residents while supported by armed Israeli troops.

Some Jewish groups also stormed the Al-Aqsa compound, raising fears among Palestinians that they were attempting to upset the status quo at Islam’s third holiest site. Jewish prayers are prohibited on the 35-acre (14-hectare) site known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary. The Jewish community refers to it as the Temple Mount. Israel breached all red lines and international norms yesterday by continuing its assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. “It aims to construct a reality that contradicts the historical position of the Al-Aqsa mosque,” Shtayyeh said on Monday.

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Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested and more than 165 people were injured during protests against the march a day earlier in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, with injuries ranging from tear gas inhalation to beatings and wounds from live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets.

Following the march, huge groups of Israelis attacked Palestinian neighborhoods, destroying both people and property.

The Shattyeh has been making announcements “since yesterday,” according to Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the West Bank.

“Today, he made strong accusations, claiming that Israel requires over 3,000 army and police forces to secure the city,” Ibrahim claimed.

“He stated that there is a difference between conquering the city militarily and being the occupying authority – and genuinely having sovereignty [over it].”

Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defense Minister, said on Monday that two right-wing “extremist” groups suspected of violence against Palestinians should be placed to Israel’s “terrorist” list.

“I believe it is past time to consider categorizing groups like La Familia and Lehava as terrorist organizations,” Gantz said at a meeting of his Blue and White party.

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Lehava and La Familia have previously been called “disgraceful” and “unworthy of raising the Israeli flag,” according to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Settler attacks

70,000 Israelis are estimated to have attended the annual march, which is seen as an attempt by Israel to impose control over the occupied sector of the city.

According to Ibrahim, Palestinians “on the street” have complained that these announcements are insufficient and that they demand more from their leaders.

“The Palestinian Authority has declared that it is committed to a peaceful resolution,” she said. “Palestinians on the street have stated that Israel is consolidating its occupation.”

Israel has been making progress on its illegal settlement project in occupied Palestinian territory. Settlements are fortified, Jewish-only housing complexes established on Palestinian land in violation of international law. At least 600,000 people reside in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In the meantime, Israeli settlers in Hebron, West Bank, began marching on Monday.

“We know that settlers marched through the old section of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank’s south,” Ibrahim of Dailion said.

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Settlers “continued marching with their flags, with their racist slogans” towards the Ibrahimi mosque, she said, adding that settlers “invaded the mosque’s plaza” while under the protection of the Israeli army.

According to her, Palestinian journalists wanting to chronicle the scene were allegedly forbidden from doing so.

Israelis reportedly marched with Israeli flags near Nablus and Jenin in the northern West Bank, according to the Wafa news agency, while a secondary school in the Palestinian hamlet of Urif was also targeted.

The Israelis entered under the protection of the army, according to the Palestinian news agency. According to the report, they threw rocks at the school, causing considerable damage, while soldiers fired tear gas canisters, resulting in “many suffocation episodes.”

Settler attacks on Palestinians and their property have been widespread across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. With roughly 700 Israeli settlers living among a Palestinian population of over 40,000 in Hebron’s ancient city, the situation is particularly volatile.

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