Police chief bars far-right MK, Likud member from marching in Jerusalem’s Old City

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai has decided to bar far-right Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir and Likud’s May Golan from marching tomorrow through Jerusalem’s Old City, the Knesset Guard informs them.

“The activities of the Knesset members may, with a high degree of certainty, lead to severe harm to public order to the point of harming the state’s security,” a Knesset statement says, citing an intelligence assessment.

The Knesset Guard also says Shabtai has barred Ben Gvir from going up to the Temple Mount tomorrow or Friday.

“MK Ben Gvir’s ascent to the Temple Mount at the present time may, with a high degree of certainty, can lead to an increase of tensions on the Temple Mount and provoke disturbances” that could spread further, the statement says.

Ben Gvir hits out at Shabtai over the decision.

“The end of democracy. In order to not annoy the rioters that threatened to riot, the police are harming the immunity of Knesset members who are requesting to march with an Israeli flag in the capital Jerusalem,” Ben Gvir tweets in response.

He accuses Shabtai of revoking “the freedom of movement of a Knesset member” and calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu to reverse the “unprecedented decision.”

Ben Gvir and Golan said they would march through the Damascus Gate with Israeli flags after police withheld permission for a planned march there tomorrow by right-wing nationalists. Yesterday, the high-level security cabinet approved the march for next week if police sign off on the route.

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