Controversial Jerusalem march set to go ahead as first test for new Israeli government

A controversial right-wing Flag March through east Jerusalem is set for Tuesday after Israel’s new government green-lighted it on Monday.

Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister on Sunday and this march will be the first real test for his government. The Minister of Internal Security, Omer Bar-Lev, completed a situation assessment with the participation of the Commissioner, the IDF, the Shin Bet and the National Security Council, according to a statement issued by his office on Monday. The minister was presented with the operational plans for the flag parade in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the statement added. “I was under the impression that the police are well prepared and that a great effort has been made to maintain the delicate fabric of life and public safety.” Minister Bar-Lev said in the statement.

The Flag March was planned to take place on May 10 as part of the commemoration of Jerusalem day, but in an unusual move, it was diverted last minute by police not allowing them to go through the Damascus gate and Muslim quarter in the Old City due to the already tense situation in Jerusalem. The march was eventually canceled minutes after it started in the new route due to Hamas firing rockets on Jerusalem as sirens were heard all over the city. It is an annual parade where mostly right-wing Jewish groups walk through the Old City of Jerusalem carrying and dancing with Israeli flags to celebrate Israel gaining control of the Western Wall during the 1967 Six-Day War. This year the march was originally scheduled to take place on Jerusalem Day last month but was canceled as it got underway when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem.

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