Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah on Sunday threatened that the terror group will fire rockets at Israel if the Jerusalem Flag March goes ahead as planned next Sunday.
“I warn the enemy against committing such crimes and these steps,” he said in a statement.
“Our Palestinian people and their resistance in Jerusalem and the West Bank do not and will not accept the occurrence of this Talmudic Jewish nonsense. All Israeli cities will be targeted by our missiles if the flag parade passes through Sha’ar Shechem.”
Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev announced last week that this year’s march will pass through Sha’ar Shechem as it is customary, following the recommendation of Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai.
Last year, Israel Police recommended that the march avoid Sha’ar Shechem, a move that failed to prevent the outbreak of Operation Guardian of the Walls. Due to last year’s cancellation, the march is expected to draw particularly large crowds this year.
The Flags March was a source of conflict in the Cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, with Meretz MKs and several other coalition members decrying the decision to allow the march to pass through Sha’ar Shechem. Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg called the march “a provocative act for political purposes.”
However, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett insisted that the march will pass through Sha’ar Shechem because “it has always been that way.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)