Marking the so-called “Jerusalem Day”, approximately 30.000 Zionists marched in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday “celebrating 44 years of occupation and annexation of the holy city”, and clashed with Arab citizens. The settlers were marking the so-called “reunification” of Jerusalem according to the Jewish calendar.Thousands of extremists, wearing white and blue clothes, the colors of the Israeli flag, marched towards Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem on their way to the Al Buraq Wall in the city, while thousands of soldiers and police officers were deployed in the area.
The settlers broke into the yards of the Al Aqsa mosque and clashed with local Palestinians, who gathered there to prevent them from breaking into the holy site.
Local sources reported that clashes took place between the Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah and the settlers who chanted “death to Arabs”, and other racist slogans calling for expelling all Arabs out of the city.
Furthermore, the police allowed extremists of the “Temple Mount” fundamentalist settler group, which calls for the destruction of the Al Aqsa mosque and the construction of a Jewish temple in its place, to march from Sheikh Jarrah to the Al Buraq Wall (Western Wall).
Owners of Arab stores closed their shops to avoid clashes with the settlers in Sheikh Jarrah, the neighborhood that witnessed several protests carried out by Palestinians and Israeli supporters against settlement activities, home demolitions, and the ongoing settler takeover of Palestinian homes.
It is worth mentioning that several extremist settler groups announced their intentions to break into the Al Aqsa Mosque to “impose Israeli sovereignty on it”.
Thousands of Israeli policemen and soldiers were deployed in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday at night and since early morning hours on Wednesday, and blocked several main roads that lead to the Old City and the surrounding areas, especially roads that lead to the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Al Buraq Wall.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that he opposes what he called “any concessions in Jerusalem”, adding, “Jerusalem will never be divided again”.
Hamas political leader, Izzat Al Rishiq, slammed the statements of Netanyahu, and the latest attack carried out by the settlers, and said that all Israeli attempts to impose sovereignty on Jerusalem and its holy sites, and its ongoing attacks and violations, will only lead to more steadfastness and determination among the Palestinians who will protect their city and their holy sites.
Al Rishiq described the settlers’ desecration of the Al Aqsa mosque as a “racist crime”, and added that Jerusalem is an Arab, Muslim city, the capital of the Palestinian State.
30,000 Religious Zionists Expected To March Through East Jerusalem
by Kevin Murphy
Wed, 01 Jun 2011 13:07:37
Israeli police presence in East Jerusalem has been increased to control a march of 30,000 religious Zionists through Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem as part of Jerusalem Day celebrations, according to Haaretz.
The march plans to move through the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah which is the site of repeated clashes between Israeli security forces and local residents. Sheikh Jarrah has been targeted by Jewish settlers who have established enclaves and outposts in what is, according to residents, a concerted effort to alter the neighbourhoods demographic.
Jerusalem day is the annual celebration by the Israeli Zionist movement marking the Israeli capture of East Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.
Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as their future capital under a two state solution to the conflict. Israeli peace group Gush Shalom have called on Jerusalem Day to be cancelled as it commemorates the annexation of Palestinian property.