Tensions flare once again in Israel-Palestine ahead of controversial march

Israeli police officers prepare for flag march, photo by Times of Israel.

Perhaps the most divisive, disputed conflict in the world is hot with tension once again, as Israel’s annual flag march is expected to take place today (Sunday). The march celebrates Israel’s capture of Jerusalem in 1967 after the ‘6 Day War’.

The march is now heavily associated with Israel’s Right Wing, which has become the country’s dominant political force after decades of failed negotiations and conflict with the Palestinians, including countless terror attacks between both sides. Last year, videos of Israelis at the flag march yelling “Death to Arabs” went viral on social media.

At the start of last year’s flag march, the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas launched rockets into Israel, setting off an 11-day war that left hundreds dead. At the same time, the conflict over houses in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood was taking place. While Israeli authorities said the threat to remove Palestinians from their homes in the neighbourhood was over a “rent dispute”, Palestinians referred to it as “ethnic cleansing”.

Palestinians have their hateful chants too. Palestinians, particularly in Jerusalem, have recited a chant which in Arabic translates to “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning”. The chant refers to a part of Islamic history when Muslims captured territory from Jews. As Israelis have become increasingly Right Wing, Palestinians have also increasingly supported extremist groups like Hamas.

In a conflict that seems never ending, today’s flag march will most likely add more fuel to the fire of hate between Israelis and Palestinians.

SOURCE: Reuters | Jerusalem Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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