Police, organizers agree to alter Jerusalem Day march in Old City due to Ramadan

A spokesman for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat forwarded questions about security concerns for the event to the Jerusalem District Police.

By
June 1, 2016 17:56
2 minute read.
Jerusalem Day

Jerusalem Day celebrations. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Police and organizers have reached an agreement to alter the schedule of the Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day on Sunday, to avoid tensions with east Jerusalemites planning to celebrate Ramadan.

Under the agreement, entrance to Damascus Gate to the Old City will be allowed for marchers only from 5:30 p.m.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


up until 6:30, after which anyone who arrives there will be diverted to Jaffa Gate. Representatives sent by the parade organizers will be responsible for enforcing the restriction.

Police said the change was made because the earlier the marchers enter the Muslim Quarter, the more likely it is that they will make their way to the Western Wall before Muslim worshipers began to walk through the quarter’s alleyways on the way to the Temple Mount.

According to Ch.-Supt. Asi Aharoni, the spokesman for the Jerusalem Police District, some of the confusion had to do with uncertainty about when exactly Ramadan will begin. If it begins on Sunday night, there is a possibility for an overlap with the Jewish marchers, bringing with it a potential for violence.

He said that the decision was made “not to alter the date of the parade or its route, but to change the time it begins in order to reduce the chance that Jewish marchers and Muslim worshipers will clash with one another.”

The Flag Dance portion of Jerusalem Day has for years been popular with right-wing Israelis, who run through the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall, chanting and singing and waving Israeli flags. Some sing racist chants such as “Muhammad is dead” and “Death to the Arabs,” and Arab residents of the Muslim quarter are typically instructed to stay indoors until after the procession passes in order to avoid violence.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Betty Herschman, director of international advocacy for the Israeli NGO Ir Amim, said that the Flag March through the Old City is always problematic, but especially this year due to Ramadan.

She said she doesn’t believe that the schedule changes made by police will make a difference and that the possible confluence of the nationalist flag march and Ramadan eve only intensifies the potential for violence.

She said that while the parade “already includes a great violation of Palestinian freedom of movement and right to protection, now there is also a violation of their religious freedom and their right to prepare for their major holiday.”

A spokesman for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat forwarded questions about security concerns for the event to the Jerusalem District Police.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

September 24, 2018
Hapoel Jerusalem to host free Sukkot basketball clinic

By JOSH HALICKMAN