Israeli police stop unauthorized far-right march in Jerusalem
Around 20 people breached police barriers and reached the gate but were turned back by police
By News Desk - April 20 2022

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

On 20 April, Israeli police prevented hundreds of far-right protesters from marching towards Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem, the main entrance to the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

Several hundred demonstrators carrying Israeli flags began marching from a square near the Jerusalem municipality, according to Reuters, defying police orders and despite condemnation from several Palestinian organizations.

Israeli police had previously denied the organizers’ demands to approve the march, including an offer to rally through the mostly Christian and Arab neighborhood.

“At this time, the police do not authorize the protest march in the requested format,” police officials announced in a statement.

Organizers said the march was an attempt to “return a sense of security to the streets of Jerusalem.” Palestinian leaders, however, said the march was a “provocation.”

Hamas warned against far-right Israeli protesters approaching the holy site and said “the leaders of the occupation” would bear full responsibility for the consequences of “such dangerous and provocative measures.”

On 19 April, Palestinian groups said they were raising “the general state of alert,” and warned against holding the far-right march in Jerusalem.

In the early morning of 17 April, extremist Jewish settlers, under the protection of Israeli occupation forces, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and used violence against unarmed Palestinian worshippers.

During the previous raid on the Islamic holy site on 15 April, Israeli forces prevented settlers from entering the compound. Some settlers brought animals to perform ritual sacrifices, a provocative act that Israeli authorities feared would lead to a military response by the Palestinian resistance.

The entry of extremist settlers into the compound came at the onset of the Passover holiday, which lasts from 15–23 April. Israeli authorities closed off the crossings of the West Bank and Gaza during this period.

Israeli forces trapped worshippers inside the Al-Qibli Mosque building, prompting them to use the mosque loudspeakers to call for help. The worshippers called upon the Palestinian resistance forces to come to their aid in Al-Aqsa.

Similar provocations during the holy month of Ramadan in 2021 prompted the Palestinian resistance to retaliate against the Israeli occupation, leading to the 11-day war.

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