ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Police recommend shopkeepers in Muslim Quarter of Old City close up shop

Shadi Hatib, a shopkeeper in Jerusalem's Old City, seen on May 18, 2023, as Israelis mark Jerusalem Day. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Shadi Hatib, a shopkeeper in Jerusalem's Old City, seen on May 18, 2023, as Israelis mark Jerusalem Day. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Police are asking shopkeepers in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter to close, although they phrase the request as a recommendation rather than an order.

With less than 90 minutes to the anticipated start of the Flag March, shopkeeper Shadi Hatib says he is keeping his juice stand open a bit longer in order to squeeze out more revenue.

“The police officer came by and told us to close down,” Hatib says, saying that the officer told him “we don’t want them to cause you problems,” in reference to right-wing Jews expected to descend upon the Old City.

“But they don’t pay me compensation,” says the East Jerusalem native.

Police later forcibly escort Hatib from the area outside his shop where he was congregating with other onlookers and young men shouting insults, shoving Hatib on his way down Hagai Street, where he lives.

Aziz Rajbi, an employee at a coffee bar and resident of the Old City, says that police recommended he close the shop but did not obligate him to do so, and that he plans to leave it open as long as there is no violence during the march.

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