Amid recent tensions between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas, at least 17 Palestinians were injured after clashing with Israeli police during a flag march in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
As Christian Headlines reported last month, following 11 days of conflict in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement, which was brokered by Egypt.
According to Palestinian Arab sources, ahead of the Israeli flag march, the Egyptian government told Hamas not to escalate tensions with Israel, saying it would “embarrass” Egypt after acting as a proxy between both groups, Israel National News reports.
“Such attempts would embarrass us, and the Bennett government would respond with force,” one official claimed Egypt told Hamas.
In response, Hamas did not guarantee that it would not attack Israel, saying that Hamas’ actions hinge on how the event goes.
“All the options are on the table, but we can say that the event probably won’t get out of hand. The situation on the ground will dictate our next steps.”
Two hours before the march, however, at least 17 Palestinians were injured after clashing with Israeli security forces in the area outside of the Damascus Gate and Arab neighborhoods, according to The Jerusalem Post. At least 2 Palestinians were arrested, while four others were removed from the Temple Mount.
Later, nearly 2,000 police officers were deployed in the march, which ran through the Old City of Jerusalem.
The flag march, which was organized by far-right leaders, was initially planned for last Thursday, but it was postponed after security concerns prompted police to withdraw permission for the march to take place.
At the time, right-wing politicians and groups criticized the decision, claiming that the officials had “surrendered to terrorism.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Im Tirtzu organization, one of the organizers of the march, dismissed the claim that the event was meant to escalate tensions.
“It’s not a provocation in a democratic country for citizens to waive their national flag in their capital,” the spokesman said.
In response to threats of violence from Hamas, the spokesperson argued: “We cannot let Hamas dictate to us what is [a] provocation and what’s not, and what is moral and what is not.”
“We are celebrating the reunification and liberation of Jerusalem, including the whole city. To suggest we can only walk through parts of the city is admitting we don’t have sovereignty over the city.”
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.