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Despite Gaza op, Jerusalem Day flag march to proceed as planned

“This is not a dramatic decision, but a continuation of the norm in a sovereign country,” says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Jerusalem Day flag march arrives at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, June 15, 2021. Photo by Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
The Jerusalem Day flag march arrives at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, June 15, 2021. Photo by Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed that the Jerusalem Day flag march proceed as planned—that is, along its traditional route through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter—despite the confrontation with terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

In a document that will be discussed at this week’s Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu wrote, “This is not a dramatic decision, but a continuation of the norm in a sovereign country. Just as the sun rises every morning, so the parade will continue in its usual format.”

Security and political officials estimate that the march will indeed proceed as planned, despite the IDF’s “Operation Shield and Arrow” in the Gaza Strip, and assessed on Wednesday evening that the campaign was nearing its end. 

A source familiar with the matter said that Netanyahu gave “an unequivocal directive to hold the parade as planned. Hamas will not tell us whether or how to march in Jerusalem.” 

The police have been instructed to report on the necessary security arrangements to ensure the safety of the participants.

Last year, Israel’s Jerusalem Day celebrations, including the Flag March through the Old City, took place mostly without incident. The national holiday marks the reunification of Israel’s capital following the Six-Day War in 1967.

The day’s main event is the traditional “Flag March” procession, in which tens of thousands of Jews, almost entirely young religious Zionists, dance and march along two routes. Both start from Sacher Park in Jerusalem and then diverge, with the men heading to the Damascus Gate through the city’s Muslim Quarter while the women march to the Jaffa Gate. They meet at the Western Wall plaza, where they celebrate with music and dancing.

The 2021 march was the pretext for a barrage of rockets launched by Hamas on Jerusalem that led to an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups.

This is a version of an article originally published by Israel Hayom.

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