By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Thousands of illegal Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, stormed the old city of Jerusalem on Wednesday, as they commenced the annual “Flag March” to mark Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.

The head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, has said the “rampages” by far-right Jewish settlers through East Jerusalem confirmed that the city is “the focal point” of the struggle in occupied Palestine.

“The settlers’ rampages in Al-Quds confirm that Al-Quds is the focal point of the struggle,” Haniyeh said in a statement on Wednesday. “Our people will not rest until the occupation leaves and the independent Palestinian state is established with Al-Quds as its capital,” Haniyeh said in a statement on Wednesday.

Thousands of illegal Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, stormed the old city of Jerusalem on Wednesday, as they commenced the annual “Flag March” to mark Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.

‘May Your Village Burn’

Dancing and waving Israeli flags, the demonstrators chanted “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn,” as they attacked local Palestinians, journalists, as well as shops along the route, according to reports.

According to the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, several government and cabinet ministers participated in the procession including National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu.

In a fiery speech to the crowd, Ben-Gvir said, according to The Times of Israel: “The Damascus Gate is ours. The Temple Mount is ours. And God willing complete victory is ours,” referring to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

According to WAFA, Ben-Gvir declared at a press conference following the march, “We succeeded in changing the status quo in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque today.”

“Today, according to my policy, Jews entered the Old City freely. And on the Temple Mount Jews prayed freely. We say in the simplest way, it’s ours,” he said.

The Palestinian Governorate of Jerusalem responded to Ben-Gvir’s statement, asserting that it “is further evidence of the Netanyahu government’s insistence on altering the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem.”

Journalists Attacked

WAFA said some of the settlers were reportedly armed, and clashes occurred resulting in several injuries.

The Israeli occupation authorities turned occupied Jerusalem and its Old City into a military barracks from Tuesday, under the pretext of protecting the “flag march”.

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of settlers stormed into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, just before the start of the march.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemned the attacks on journalists during the march.

WAFA reported that according to Dyala Jweihan, a photojournalist, the marchers attacked media personnel, beating them with sticks and hurling stones at them after police prevented them from standing at their designated place.

Among the assaulted media personnel were Saif al-Qawasmi, Layali Abu Eid and Ghassan Abu Eid.

In footage shared on social media and by news organizations, al-Qawasmi is seen surrounded by a mob who attacked him, kicking, punching and beating him. According to reports, al-Qawasmi was then arrested by occupation police.

‘Illegal Measures’ – OIC

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the Israeli forces “for its flagrant incursion into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and for allowing extremist settler groups to organize a provocative procession in the old districts of the occupied Al-Quds.”

In a statement on Thursday, the OIC reiterated “that Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the capital of the State of Palestine, is an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967.”

The OIC said it “renewed its rejection of measures or decisions aimed at forcing the so-called Israeli sovereignty on the city and its holy sites. The OIC considered such measures illegal and illegitimate under international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.”

The organization called on the international community “to assume its responsibility and put pressure on Israel, the occupying power, to stop the violence and organized terrorism perpetrated by the extremist settler groups and Israeli occupation forces throughout the Gaza Strip.”

Haniyeh meanwhile also said, “The movement and the resistance factions will approach any agreement seriously and positively, based on a comprehensive cessation of aggression, complete withdrawal, and the exchange of prisoners.”

“The Hamas movement is conducting the negotiations armed with this position, which represents the will of our people and their valiant resistance,” he added.


The post ‘Our People Will Not Rest Until Occupation Leaves’ – Haniyeh Slams Israeli Flag March  appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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