At least 27 Palestinians have been injured after clashes with the Israeli Police and up to 20 fires They have been produced in southern Israel by incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip while the March of the Flags starts in Jerusalem, which crosses the Muslim quarter of the city and threatens a possible escalation of tensions.
The Palestine Red Crescent has reported almost thirty Palestinians injured after clashes with Israeli security forces near the Old City of Jerusalem, of whom three have been hospitalized. For their part, the Israeli security forces have reported that 17 people have been arrested in clashes between Palestinians and agents.
In the march, which the Israeli Government authorized this Monday after taking office and which has been convened by Israeli religious and right-wing organizations and by the West Bank settler organizations, several conservative members of Parliament have participated, reports ‘The Times of Israel’.
Authorized by the new Government … which condemns the chants
According to the Police figures, some 5,000 protesters have participated, which have been recorded on videos circulating on social networks chanting “death to the Arabs” and “burn their village”, some chants that the newly invested Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, has condemned.
Lapid, who is part of the government coalition, has clarified that it has been the right thing to authorize the march, although “the fact that there are extremist elements for whom the Israeli flag represents hatred and racism is abominable and unforgivable.”
Through his account on the social network Twitter, he has criticized that it is “inconceivable” that someone could “hold the Israeli flag in one hand and shout ‘death to the Arabs’ at the same time”.
“This is neither Judaism nor Israelity, and it is certainly not what our flag symbolizes. These people are an embarrassment to the people of Israel,” he concluded.
Prior to the celebration of the march, at least 20 fires have occurred in southern Israel which were allegedly caused by incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Fire and Rescue Service has specified.
These launches come after Hamas’s incendiary balloon unit announced the resumption of operations after authorization to carry out the march.
Months of tension
The controversial march was to take place on May 10, although it was later suspended that Hamas fired several projectiles at the city in response to the crackdown of the demonstrations against the evictions in Sheikh Jarrá and the irruption of Israeli agents in the Al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place for Muslims.
These incidents led in eleven days of fighting in the Gaza Strip, in which more than 250 Palestinians and twelve people were killed in Israel, including an Indian woman and two Filipinos, as well as more than 20 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank.
In this context, and in view of the fear of a possible increase in tensions due to its course, the government decided to suspend the march again last weekA decision that has been rejected by the new formation, which has decided to give it a ‘green light’ leading Hamas to threaten possible consequences.
Faced with this possible escalation of the conflict, The Israeli Army has put the batteries of the Iron Dome anti-aircraft system on alert, designed to shoot down any rocket launched from the Gaza Strip against Israeli territory. He has also increased the level of alert for Israeli troops deployed in the West Bank, while he has indicated that there are 2,000 police officers present to ensure the march.