A far-right extremist group of Israeli Jews has marched through Jerusalem, waving Israeli flags and chanting racist slogans resulting in violent clashes with Palestinians living in the area.
Around 70,000 Jewish nationalists marched through Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday afternoon to mark Jerusalem Day. Jerusalem Day marks the capture of East Jerusalem by the Israeli army during the 1967 Six Day War.
While Jerusalem Day is a national holiday in Israel, it is mostly celebrated by right-wing Israelis.
Slogans on the march included:
“May your villages burn”
“Death to Arabs.”
Some also chanted:
“Shuafat is up in flames!”
This is a reference to teenager to Muhammad Abu Khdeir who was burned to death by Jewish extremists in a racist attack in 2014.
In the old city a group of Jewish marchers sang:
“I will take one revenge for both my eyes against Palestine — damn them.”
Israeli police arrested 60 people during the clashes and several dozen people were injured. In one video a Jewish marcher can be seen pepper-spraying a Palestinian woman.
עימותים אלימים בשער שכם בין ערבים ליהודים, הרבה מאוד גז באוויר פה pic.twitter.com/nvDtCRQPAG
— חיים גולדברג (@haim_goldberg) May 29, 2022
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said before the march:
“Flying the Israeli flag in the capital of Israel is self-evident. I request that the participants celebrate responsibly and in a respectful manner.”
In 2017, against the international agreements in place, US President Donald Trump stated that the US would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It had been agreed through previous peace treaties with the Palestinians that Jerusalem, home to holy sites in both Islam, Judaism and Christianity should be a neutral city not controlled by any one group.
The move by the Trump administration resulted in a backlash across the Arab world. However, despite this, the US administration under Trump was complicit with the right-wing Israeli government in normalising ties with a number of major Arab states. This led to many of those living in these countries, and the Palestinian people themselves, to feel they had been sold out by the Arab world, particularly as Israeli encroachment continues into what is internationally recognised as Palestinian land.
[Based on reporting by: Times of Israel]