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Wielding flagsticks, Jerusalem city leaders fight Palestinian near Old City

Jerusalem’s deputy mayor and another city council member scuffled with a Palestinian who attempted to grab flags away from them as they distributed them ahead of Jerusalem Day.

In a video from the scene, Deputy Mayor Arieh King and city council member Yonatan Yosef can be seen chasing a young Palestinian man who grabs a flag away from them.

The two attempt to grab the flag back by hitting him with sticks from other flags; King and the alleged perp end up smacking each other as they fence down the street. While Yosef initially connects, he later only manages to smack a responding cop in the head, who then pushes away the budding politician and takes away his stick.

The Palestinian eventually runs away, as those still at the scene — King, Yosef, the cop and some passersby, argue over who started it and why they let the suspect get away.

Police briefly detain the two lawmakers for questioning, and they also file a police complaint in which they claim that they were also attacked by stones and someone who threw a liquid at them from a passing car, according to Ynet reporter Haim Goldich, who filmed the rumpus.

The incident occurs outside Herod’s Gate, near the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

King had announced earlier this week that he and Yosef would hand out flags and sticks to anyone who wants ahead of Jerusalem Day, in response to Hamas threats over nationalist hardliners’ plans to hold a traditional “flag march” through the Muslim Quarter on Thursday.

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