Palestinians injured as Israeli 'flag march' begins
Israeli forces fired on Palestinian protesters near Herod’s Gate in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, injuring five people - three by rubber bullets - in the run-up to a provocative "flag march" planned by Israeli far-right groups through Jerusalem’s Old City.
The protesters were trying to reach the Old City's Damascus Gate, which was closed off by Israeli security forces earlier on Tuesday in preparation for the far-right Israeli march.
The march began on Tuesday afternoon in the Street of the Prophets in West Jerusalem. It is expected to head to the Jaffa Gate in the Old City in East Jerusalem before arriving at the Damascus Gate.
Approximately 70,000 Israelis are expected to take part. Itamar Ben-Gvir, a leader from the extremist Religious Zionism party known for his racist rhetoric against Palestinians was reported to be among those leading the march.
It is meant to celebrate Israel’s capture of Palestinian East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, which Israel has occupied in violation of international law ever since.
Palestinian factions have denounced the march as a provocation and an insult, with Fatah calling on Palestinians to resist it and Hamas warning Israel that it could restart a war that ended last month.
Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces near Jerusalem’s Old City were ongoing on Tuesday afternoon.
Israeli forces earlier attacked Palestinian women protesters assembled near the Damascus Gate. They also detained 13 youths and prevented buses carrying Palestinian citizens of Israel from areas inside Israel’s 1948 borders from reaching Jerusalem.
Israeli forces arrested Hatam Abdul Qader, a Fatah leader living in Jerusalem, at his home and clashed with Palestinian protesters north of Ramallah in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said that it had prepared a number of ambulances amid an expected rise in the number of injured as a result of the clashes.