Tens of thousands of Israeli nationalists escorted by heavily armed soldiers marched through occupied East Jerusalem Thursday marking “Flag Day,” which celebrates Israel’s seizure of Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. Many of the marchers chanted “Death to Arabs” and directed racist slurs at Palestinians. Palestinian residents of the Old City’s Muslim Quarter were beaten by Israeli ultranationalists. Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was among senior politicians who joined the march. Ben-Gvir was previously convicted of racist incitement against Arabs and supporting a terrorist group.
AFP’s Jerusalem correspondent Rosie Scammell published video of Israelis throwing sticks, stones and bottles at journalists at the Damascus Gate, writing, “They cheer every time they hit us with projectiles.” Three journalists were wounded, at least two of them with head injuries.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers fired live rounds and tear gas toward Palestinians who’d gathered to protest along the heavily fortified barrier separating the besieged territory from Israel. This is Hamas official Ismail Rudwan.
Ismail Rudwan: “The march of the flags will not bring you sovereignty over Jerusalem, which you turned into a military base. Jerusalem will forever remain the single united capital of Palestine.”