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PALESTINIAN resistance organisations prepared today to counter a provocative “march of the flags” by far-right zionist settlers in Jerusalem, posing a challenge to new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Hours after being installed as the leader of Israel’s new coalition government Mr Bennett approved the march, which will include a parade dance in front of the Old City’s Damascus Gate and a route going through a Palestinian market.
The event was originally planned to mark Jerusalem Day on May 10, but it was postponed due to Israel’s brutal 11-day bombardment of Gaza last month, which killed more than 250 Palestinians.
Organised by groups including Im Tirtzu, Bnei Akiva, Ezra and Ariel, the march risks raising tensions which have remained high since a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers was agreed on May 21.
Some 2,500 Israeli police and security officials have been deployed as Palestinian resistance groups vow to meet the illegal settlers with counter-protests, warning that the march could be preceded by a missile strike on Gaza, which remains under a state of emergency.
Abu Jamal, spokesman for the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said: “The march of provocative flags played with fire and is a dangerous transgression that cannot be tolerated.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad said it vowed to respond “with full force to the provocations of the settlers in the Holy City,” warning that it would form an “impenetrable dam” to protect the al-Aqsa mosque and calling for barricades to be set up across the city.
Hamas called on the Palestinian resistance “to repel this aggression” and prevent the march towards al-Aqsa, urging supporters “to march into the courtyards of the mosque and to rise up against the occupier and resist it by all means.”
The march is set to take place this evening.
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