On June 5, 1967, the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War took place, after which it captured East Jerusalem. Israel had already made a lot of preparations for this war.
A so-called ‘flag march’ was held in East Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday by Israelis from far and wide. Hundreds of Palestinians organized a protest in Gaza in response to the event. Hundreds of Palestinians participated in that protest. The protest in Gaza condemned the ‘flag march’ in Jerusalem and called for an end to the Israeli raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
What is Jerusalem Day?
Israel fought several Arab armies in the 1967 war, during which it captured territories including East Jerusalem. Israel has since occupied East Jerusalem. in a move that has not received international recognition and considers the entire city as its eternal and undivided capital. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state. Jerusalem Day events culminate with a flag-waving march that winds through the city of Jerusalem before entering the walled Old City, home to holy sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims. In recent years the parade has become a show of strength for Jewish nationalists.
What is ‘Jerusalem Day’ and why is it an Israeli-Palestinian flashpoint?
On June 5, 1967, the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War took place, after which it captured East Jerusalem. Israel had already made a lot of preparations for this war. He came close to acquiring nuclear weapons and had acquired aircraft from France and tanks from Britain. During the war, Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. It wrested the Gaza Strip and Sinai from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. In memory of this day, Jews celebrate every year as Jerusalem Day.
Why the parade increases the tension with the Palestinians
The heavily policed procession pes through the narrow streets of the Old City, including areas popular among Palestinians such as the Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter. Because of this, some Arab shopkeepers are forced to close their shops. Another source of tension has been visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by large groups of Jewish pilgrims, including members of parliament. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam on what Jews regard as the Temple Mount, the remains of two ancient temples.
How has this event given rise to violence in recent years?
During March 2021, the Islamist Hamas group fired rockets into Israel, triggering an 11-day war that killed at least 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 in Israel. Hamas, which controls Gaza, has in recent years projected itself as the protector of Jerusalem’s Palestinians and Muslim holy sites. Hamas threatened an explosion if the right-wing march violated the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound or attacked Palestinians. This year, Palestinians have also organized their own flag marches in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.