The ultra-nationalist flag march is a recruiting sergeant for the Palestinian resistance

Right-wing ultra-nationalist Israeli settlers held their flag march in Jerusalem yesterday. For safety reasons, the route has been changed compared to previous years and they pass through the Jaffa Gate of the old city instead of the usual Damascus gate. As usual, the settlers sang “Death to the Arabs” and “Jerusalem is Jewish”. It was highly provocative — which was intentional of course — and allowed Jewish settlers to express their hatred of Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

A parade is an annual event honoring the 1967 conquest of Jerusalem by Israeli forces. The first took place a year later. This one and those who follow it are never at peace.

The Palestinian uprising originally planned for May 10 has kept its promise of revenge unless Israel stops its attacks on the people of Jerusalem, which is why it was postponed until last Thursday. It was postponed again — presumably to prevent the outgoing Netanyahu government from making a decision — and took place yesterday. The new government, led by Naftali Bennett, has given the green light.

Israeli public television Kan reported that the government sent a message to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan that they were not seeking escalation by approving the flag. Channel 13 News reported that a message was sent to Hamas via Egypt urging the movement not to escalate tensions and warning them to react sharply if it did. Cairo told Hamas that any escalation in response to the flag march would “embarrass them”.

READ: Israeli settler flag march arrives at Damascus Gate amid tensions

The Palestinian resistance in Gaza was not swayed by empty threats from the Israeli occupation authorities but said it would monitor the situation and take necessary actions without contacting anyone if and when needed. “All options are on the table,” Hamas said. He pointed out that an escalation could be avoided “if the flag marches don’t spiral out of control”.

The controversy surrounding the march makes it a challenge the Israeli occupation looks set to win. On the site, however, the result is quite the opposite. The march proved that Israel had been defeated by the Palestinian Resistance, whose street authority was being established among the occupied Palestinians, the Arab world as a whole, and the Muslims.

To make way for some 2,500 settlers, Israeli police and security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at local Palestinians along the route. More than 30 people were injured and several were arrested.

Alarmed by Hamas’ response to the march, Israeli authorities diverted civilian flights to and from Ben Gurion Airport away from the Gaza Strip. The Iron Dome missile defense system is on standby.

Although the extremists involved in the march were happy, they not only angered Israeli officials but also likely pushed dozens of young people into the arms of the resistance. The appointed NCO couldn’t have done a better job.

The Palestinian resistance celebrates this latest victory, which even the Israeli media and analysts have acknowledged.

“The position and bold decision of the Palestinian Resistance have forced the Israeli occupation to turn away from Al-Aqsa Mosque, rerouted civilian aircraft, and strengthened the placement of iron domes,” Hamas said. “A new era and formula to deter Israel has begun.”

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Hira Menon

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