Hamas warns against ‘flag march’ in occupied al-Quds

Monday, May 23, 2022

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh warned on Sunday against a planned march by Jewish nationalists through Israeli-annexed east al-Quds, saying that the Palestinian Islamist group would use "all possibilities" to confront it.

The controversial so-called "flag march" is due to take place next week to mark Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the unification of the city after Israel annexed east al-Quds in 1967.

The route, provisionally approved by Israeli authorities, allows marchers to enter the Old City through the Damascus Gate, heavily used by Palestinians, en route to the Western Wall. Israeli authorities have not approved a route that would see the march entering the flashpoint Al-Aqsa compound, and this has never happened in the past.

At a speech marking a year since an 11-day flare-up in the conflict between Israel and the group that rules Gaza, the Hamas leader alleged there had been "calls to storm the al-Aqsa Mosque and hold a march of flags".

"I warn the enemy against committing such crimes," Haniyeh continued, adding that "the resistance... in al-Quds and the West Bank will not allow or accept that such Jewish nonsense passes at Al-Aqsa".

"We will confront it with all possibilities and we will never allow the al-Aqsa mosque to be violated," he said. al-Aqsa mosque compound is Islam’s third holiest site, while the Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray.