ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Ben Gvir expected to take part in religious nationalist Flag March in Jerusalem

Jews taking part in the Flag March pass through the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem's Old City on May 29, 2022, as Israel marks Jerusalem Day. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Jews taking part in the Flag March pass through the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem's Old City on May 29, 2022, as Israel marks Jerusalem Day. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is expected to take part in Thursday’s annual Flag March in Jerusalem as part of Jerusalem Day events.

The annual march of religious nationalists through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City is regularly a tense affair, with thousands of largely Orthodox participants rallying from Independence Park to the Western Wall to mark Israel’s reunification of East and West Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. The march has gained notoriety over the years, as it is often marred by hate speech and sometimes violence by Jewish participants toward Palestinians.

Ben Gvir has been a regular participant in the marches, but this would be his first time doing so as a minister, and specifically the minister in charge of police.

In the past two years, the Biden administration has urged Israel to change the route of the march to go through the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, instead of Damascus Gate, thereby avoiding the Muslim Quarter, which is largely populated by Palestinians.

A senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel earlier this month that the hardline government was not likely to reroute the march.

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