Israel deploys Iron Dome as “Flags March” kicks off

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The new Israeli government agreed to allow the “flags march” in occupied Jerusalem, despite fears of an escalation that prompted the Israeli army to decide to deploy Iron Dome batteries in anticipation of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

And the new Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Omer Bar-Lev, announced his final approval for organizing the march, which was organized by far-right groups, after “an assessment of the situation he conducted with the leaders of the army, the Shin Bet security service, the police and the National Security Council,” according to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Bar-Lev said, “The impression I got was that the police were well prepared and that a great deal of effort had been made to preserve the delicate fabric of life and public safety.”

Bar-Lev had previously declared that “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel,” adding, “In a democratic system, it is permissible to demonstrate and hold such or that rallies, as long as it is in accordance with the law.”

The Israeli “Kan” channel said that the army “intensified the deployment of Iron Dome batteries today, for fear of Hamas rockets.”

The approval of the march came on the condition that the Israeli security services hold an evaluation session on the march, with the aim of evaluating the situation and deciding whether to raise the state of alert, especially on the Gaza front.

And the Israeli “Wallah” website quoted a source as saying that the question being discussed in the corridors of the Israeli security services is whether thousands of Palestinians and Arabs will actually come to Jerusalem to demonstrate against the march.

The security source, who relied on intelligence about the size of the participation, added that “the state of alert will be raised to confront threats, as this includes pushing more police and army forces and military reinforcements to prevent friction and escalation in Gaza and the West Bank.”

In anticipation of possible tensions, the US Embassy in Jerusalem warned its employees and their families not to enter the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, calling on them to exercise caution. And she said in a statement: “Following calls to hold a flag march in Jerusalem, and the possibility of organizing demonstrations against it in the Old City, employees of the US administration and their families are prohibited from entering the Old City.”

Earlier, “Hamas” warned that this march, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, would spark a new battle in Jerusalem, calling for a general mobilization. Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanou said that this march represents a “thunderbolt explosion for a new battle to defend Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

For his part, Hamas spokesman for the city of Jerusalem, Muhammad Hamadeh, called for a general mobilization and a rally in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and said: “Let Tuesday be a day of mobilization and bonding towards Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a day of anger and defiance of the occupier.”

Palestinian activists called on social media to gather in Bab al-Amud in conjunction with the march, which they described as “provocative.”







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