Police chief hopes Flag March will proceed as usual; final decision in morning

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai says he hopes tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day Flag March will go ahead as planned, and is doing everything he can to ensure this, the Walla news site reports.

A further situation assessment is to be held early tomorrow morning, however.

The march, which annually draws tens of thousands of participants, usually proceeds into the Old City via Damascus Gate and on through the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall.

However, the Damascus Gate area and Old City have seen days of clashes, including a major eruption of violence on the Temple Mount on Friday night, and police and security chiefs are still assessing plans for tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day events.

Jerusalem Day celebrates the unification of Jerusalem, with the capture of East Jerusalem and the Old City from Jordan in the 1967 war, and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city.

Security officials reportedly warned the cabinet earlier today that the contentious Flag March could lead to a further escalation in violence.

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