Small clashes mar peaceful J'lem Day Flag March

Thousands march peacefully through city as part of J'lem Day festivities; several dozen left, right-wing activists clash in Sheikh Jarrah.

Israel Flag March 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel Flag March 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Small clashes between left-wing protesters and right-wing activists marred the otherwise peaceful  Jerusalem Day Flag March on Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of people marched peacefully through the city as part of the Jerusalem Day celebrations in the capital. The clashes were limited to the area next to Jewish homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Marchers were expected to continue the procession through the Old City to the Western Wall.
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Some 50 left and right wing activists, including National Union MK Michael Ben Ari were involved in the altercation. Two left wing activist were removed from the premises and taken for interrogation by police. Police said the left wing activists did not have permission to demonstrate.
In a separate incident, a marcher entered a mosque in Sheikh Jarrah with an Israeli flag and was arrested by police forces. The marcher was taken into custody for interrogation.
Five additional marchers were arrested near Nablus Gate in the capital for allegedly attempting to assault Arabs while calling out nationalistic slogans. A woman was also arrested in the area for allegedly yelling anti-Semitic epithets at marchers passing by.
Border police arrested 7 people for throwing stones at police forces in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday, as well. The suspects were taken into custody for interrogation.
Increased patrols of police, border police and volunteers were put in place in the capital until the conclusion of events on Wednesday.
“Police will be patrolling in the small alleys inside the Old City in order to reduce friction between the sides and will act decisively against anyone who tries to cause provocations,” said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby.