Israeli police cancel Jerusalem flag parade through Muslim quarter

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Israeli police cancel Jerusalem flag parade through Muslim quarter

Amid scenes of violence in the Old City, officials reverse their decision to allow the parade to proceed at the last minute

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

A flag parade to mark Jerusalem Day will not proceed through the Old City’s Muslim quarter and Damascus Gate , Israeli police have decided, after widespread clashes in the city that have seen hundreds of people wounded.

Hebrew media reported earlier in the day that the route of the march, in which thousands of religious nationalist Israeli Jews were expected to attend, would not be altered.

But Israeli politicians, military leaders and the Shin Bet security service had all recommended a different route because of ongoing violence in the city.

Police officials announced the decision had been reversed shortly before the march was due to start at 4pm local time (2pm in the UK).

Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the unification of the city following a 1967 war.

Israel subsequently annexed the whole city, but its claim is not internationally recognised.

The decision to proceed follows a morning of violent clashes on the Temple Mount compound, with police firing stun grenades and Palestinians responding with stones.

There were also clashes inside the Al-Aqsa mosque itself, although officers are now understood to have withdrawn.

Sounds from the fighting could be clearly heard by worshippers marking Jerusalem Day at the Western Wall.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said its crews had treated 305 wounded people and hospitalised 228, including seven injuries it described as “very serious”

Israeli police say at least 12 officers have been injured.

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