Right-wing pro-settler Israeli groups have scrapped a controversial march planned for this week in Jerusalem. Police declined to allow a controversial march claiming that neither the format nor the time of the event was appropriate given the present level of tension in Israel.
The so-called March of the Flags was due on Thursday and proceeds through flashpoint spots in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.
“Police refused to give us an authorization,” a spokesperson for one of the groups organizing the march said, prompting a cancellation of the event.
News of its cancellation came as Khalil Hayya, a senior figure of the Palestinian group Hamas, warned that the march could lead to new violence. However, it was not clear if the cancellation was linked to his remarks.
Israeli police said in a statement that “the current route at this time is not approved”.
However, the police said they would review a petition to reschedule the event or conduct it differently.
“We warn the occupation [Israel] against letting the march approach East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday,” Hayya said. “We hope the message is clear so that Thursday doesn’t become [a new] May 10,” he said, referring to the start of last month’s 11-day fighting between Israel and Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians grew as celebrations by far-right Israelis took place commemorating near the Al-Aqsa Mosque on ‘Jerusalem Day’, the day East Jerusalem was occupied by Israeli forces, in 1967. The protests have contributed to the recently ceased conflict between Hamas and Israel.