West News Wire: Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has called far-right Israeli attacks in occupied East Jerusalem “aggression that crossed all red lines.”

During the so-called “flag march,” tens of thousands of flag-waving, ultranationalist Israelis attacked the Muslim district of the Old City on Sunday. The provocative march in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is intended to commemorate Israel’s occupation and subsequent annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967 a move that has not been recognized by the international community.

While backed by armed Israeli troops, some screamed racist slogans such as “Death to Arabs” and abused Palestinian residents.

Some Jewish groups also stormed the Al-Aqsa compound, increasing Palestinian worries that it was an attempt to disrupt the status quo at Islam’s third holiest site.

“Israel yesterday has crossed all red lines and international treaties with its repeated aggression against Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. It attempts to impose a reality that doesn’t align with the historical status quo of Al-Aqsa mosque,” Shtayyeh said on Monday.

Dozens of Palestinians were arrested across occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank a day earlier, where protests to decry the march erupted, while more than 165 suffered injuries ranging from heavy tear gas inhalation to beatings and wounds from live rounds, as well as rubber-coated steel bullets.

Following the march, large groups of Israelis stormed through Palestinian neighbourhoods, assaulting residents as well as their property.

Nida Ibrahim, reporting from the West Bank city of Ramallah, said the Shattyeh has been issuing statements “since yesterday”.

“He had strong statements today saying that Israel needed more than 3,000 Israeli army and police officers to secure the city,” Ibrahim said.

“He said there’s a difference between occupying the city militarily and being the occupying power and actually having sovereignty [over it].”

On Monday, Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz said two right-wing “extremist” groups accused of violence towards Palestinians should be placed on “terror” list.

Read More
Protests against Israeli raids, killings at Al-Aqsa Mosque, West Bank

“I believe it is time to examine defining groups like La Familia and Lehava as terror groups, and I know the issue is being presented to security forces,” Gantz said during a meeting of his Blue and White party.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid described Lehava and La Familia as a “disgrace” who weren’t “worthy of holding the Israeli flag”.

Some 70,000 Israelis were reported to have joined the annual march, which is seen as a bid by Israel to impose control over the occupied part of the city.

According to Ibrahim, Palestinians “on the street” said that these statements are not enough and expect more from their leadership.

“The Palestinian Authority has been saying it’s committed to a peaceful resolution on the streets, Palestinians have been saying Israel cementing its occupation,” she said.

Israel has been advancing its illegal settlement project on occupied Palestinian lands. Settlements are fortified, Jewish-only housing complexes built on Palestinian land in violation of international law. At least 600,000 settlers live in settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers resumed their march in the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday.

“We know settlers marched into the old area of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank,” news channels reported.

According to the Palestinian news agency, the settlers arrived under the army’s protection. They threw rocks at the school, inflicting some damage, while soldiers shot tear gas canisters, causing “several suffocation incidents,” according to the report.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property has been widespread throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The situation in Hebron’s old city is especially tense, with 700 Israeli settlers living among a Palestinian population of almost 40,000.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here