In the latest iteration of an incendiary tradition, thousands of nationalist Israelis marched through the Muslim Old City quarter of Jerusalem on Sunday. Along the way, the mostly young, orthodox Jewish throng chanted racist, genocidal slogans and attacked Palestinians and their property.
“Police cleared Palestinians out of the area, which is normally a bustling Palestinian thoroughfare,” reported Associated Press. Meanwhile, Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank were dispersed with force that ranged from stun grenades to rubber-coated steel bullets and even live rounds.
According to Middle East Eye:
At least 62 Palestinians were wounded in Jerusalem, including 23 who were hospitalised, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said. Injuries included wounds from rubber-coated steel bullets, beatings and pepper spray. A further 163 people were wounded in the West Bank, including 20 hit by live bullets.
The march is part of “Jerusalem Day,” which commemorates Israel’s capture of the Old City during the 1967 war. Last year’s parade was prelude to an 11-day war between Gaza militants and Israel. While Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, many Palestinians aspire for east Jerusalem to serve as the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.
Before the march, more than 2,500 Jews visited the Al Aqsa mosque – the third-holiest site in Islam – and Israeli media reported that one group unfurled Israeli flags there. The location of the mosque is also revered by Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.
In addition to standard chants of “death to Arabs,” “Muhammed is dead” and “let your village burn,” this year’s invectives also included “Shireen is dead.” On May 11, Israeli security forces shot star al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the head. A multi-faceted CNN forensic investigation concluded it was a “targeted killing.”
“Shireen’s dead! Jerusalem is ours!” Israeli settlers try to provoke Palestinians by insulting slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
Settlers arrived at Damascus Gate to take part in the Flag March, a far-right parade associated with violence against Palestinians pic.twitter.com/8FnRnPpyq2
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 29, 2022
One of the most disturbing chants reported by observers was “Shuafat is on fire.” This is said to be a celebratory reference to a monstrous episode of anti-Palestinian violence: the 2014 kidnapping and killing of 16-year old Muhammed Abu Khdeir. Jewish extremists beat him in the head with an iron bar and burned him alive.
Chanting at the “flag march”, celebrating the “unification” of Jerusalem which marching in Pal neighborhoods:
“Shuafat is on fire” (referencing the burning of Muhammad Abu Khdeir)
“A Jew is a soul, an Arab is a son of a whore”
“Muhammad is dead”
“May your village burn down” https://t.co/4me5U9dbwU
— Haggai Matar (@Ha_Matar) May 29, 2022
Other video posted to Twitter shows an Israeli nationalist pepper-spraying a small, older woman:
עימותים אלימים בשער שכם בין ערבים ליהודים, הרבה מאוד גז באוויר פה pic.twitter.com/nvDtCRQPAG
— חיים גולדברג (@haim_goldberg) May 29, 2022
Here, a marcher spits on an elderly Muslim beggar:
Some Israelis aren’t waiting for sunset and Jerusalem Day to officially begin before making the rounds in East Jerusalem. Marchers came through the Old City this evening and were recorded spitting on a Muslim beggar as they passed by.pic.twitter.com/ldLImII2uN
— Séamus Malekafzali (@Seamus_Malek) May 28, 2022
Palestinians reportedly threw chairs and bottles at the marchers. Here, Israeli nationalists throw bottles at a Muslim man being carried away on a stretcher:
זה מתחיל ב”מוחמד מת” וממשיך בבקבוקים על נושאי אלונקה עם פצוע פלסטיני. pic.twitter.com/jblbPVloF3
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) May 29, 2022
Marchers also vandalized property:
— Oren Ziv (@OrenZiv_) May 29, 2022
The provocative Israeli nationalist demonstrations weren’t confined to Jerusalem:
For Jewish supremacists too lazy to travel to Jerusalem, there are satellite “Death-to-the-Arabs!” marches in other Israeli cities, like this one in Lydda. Under police protection, aspiring pogromists stop at a school to sing about wiping out Palestinians https://t.co/lqUH3yIFz1
— David Sheen (@davidsheen) May 29, 2022
Violence is continuing into the night…
Sheikh Jarrah now https://t.co/vTwWSJNxCn
— Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) May 29, 2022