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Bennett bans Ben Gvir from powder keg Damascus Gate

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office says far-right Knesset lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir will be barred from the Damascus Gate at Jerusalem’s Old City, where Jewish nationalists have vowed to hold a march, raising fears of clashes with Palestinians who frequent the popular square during Ramadan.

A statement from Bennett’s office says the decision to prevent Ben-Gvir, who heads the opposition’s extreme-right Otzma Yehudit faction, from reaching the Damascus Gate was made at the recommendation of Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai.

“I have no intention of allowing petty politics to endanger lives. I will not allow Ben Gvir’s political provocation to endanger IDF soldiers and Israel Police officers and to add to their burdens,” Bennett says in a statement from his office.

Police already rejected a permit for the nationalist march, scheduled for 5 p.m., due to its route through the Damascus Gate.

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