Hamas challenges Israel over nationalist flag march in Jerusalem

27/5/2022 12:48:00 PM

Hamas challenges Israel over nationalist flag march in Jerusalem

https://str.sg/w2esJERUSALEM (REUTERS) - The Islamist Hamas group that runs the Gaza Strip is looking to impose new red lines in Jerusalem, epicentre of the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, even if that risks provoking another war.

For years, flag-waving Israeli nationalists have staged an annual march through Jerusalem to celebrate Israel's capture of the Old City in the 1967 Middle East war.The procession through the narrow streets of the Muslim quarter was always controversial, but legal efforts to ban the event failed, with supporters arguing that it was a legitimate festival marking an extraordinary moment in Jewish history.

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Turkey says warming Israel ties will help Palestinians

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sg/w2es JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - The Islamist Hamas group that runs the Gaza Strip is looking to impose new red lines in Jerusalem, epicentre of the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, even if that risks provoking another war. For years, flag-waving Israeli nationalists have staged an annual march through Jerusalem to celebrate Israel's capture of the Old City in the 1967 Middle East war. Mr Cavusoglu, who met Palestinian officials in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday (May 24), was in Jerusalem as Turkey and Israel seek to mend ties following a breakdown that began during an Israeli military operation in Gaza in 2008. The procession through the narrow streets of the Muslim quarter was always controversial, but legal efforts to ban the event failed, with supporters arguing that it was a legitimate festival marking an extraordinary moment in Jewish history. Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to avenge the killing, and the Revolutionary Guards blamed it on"elements of global arrogance" - a reference to the United States and its allies, including Israel. Hamas significantly raised the stakes last year, firing rockets into Israel minutes after the 2021 march kicked off, triggering an 11-day war. "We won't pretend that our relationship has not seen its ups and downs," Mr Lapid said. Leaders of the group say they are ready for renewed violence on Sunday if the Israeli government does not keep this year's march out of Muslim neighbourhoods. Police in the capital Bishkek told AFP on Thursday that they had been in contact with two climbers whom a ranger had indicated as heading towards Peak Putin on Tuesday evening.

"They can avoid a war and escalation if they stop this mad (march)," Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas official, told Reuters in Gaza this week." Mr Cavusoglu noted that Turkey was a top 10 trading partner for Israel and a major destination for Israeli tourists, voicing hope that deepening ties could yield benefits for Palestinians. Iran's state broadcaster has described Khodai as a member of the Quds Force. For many Palestinians, the march is a blatant provocation and a gross violation of one of the few places in the city, increasingly hemmed in by Jewish development and settlement, which retains a strong Arab flavour. For Hamas, it is also a religious affront, given the Old City is home to the Al Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, which Jews also revere as the Temple Mount - a vestige of their faith's two ancient temples. Mr Cavusoglu claimed that helped"maintain calm" during a tense period in Jerusalem this year that saw widespread clashes as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish passover holiday overlapped. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has defended a decision by security officials to let Sunday's procession enter Damascus Gate and pass through the Muslim quarter. Funeral prayers were led by the capital's top imam, and Khodai's coffin was draped in the Iranian flag. Some members of his coalition have urged him to rethink the route and suggested there might be a last-minute change of heart. Israel and Turkey hailed a new era in relations when Mr Herzog met with Mr Erdogan in Ankara in March. Previously unnamed,"Peak Putin" took the Russian leader's name in 2011 as Kyrgyzstan's ties with Moscow strengthened after a revolution that occurred the year before.

However, a senior Western diplomatic source doubted that Mr Bennett would bow to Hamas's demand. "He has only been in office for a year and it would make him look weak," said the diplomat, who declined to be named. Mr Cavusoglu and Mr Lapid on Wednesday agreed to set up a formal process that would allow Israeli airlines to land in Turkey and renewed a bilateral economic commission. More On This Topic. Funerals and riots Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, while Palestinians want the eastern section as a capital of their future state. Hamas sees all of modern-day Israel as occupied. More On This Topic. "For Israel, Jerusalem is off the table, for the Palestinians it is the table.

It is their Alamo," said Mr Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli lawyer and campaigner for Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem. Tensions have been rising in the city for weeks. More On This Topic .