Israel will hold its Jerusalem Day march today, an event marking the city’s unification under Israeli sovereignty.
Jerusalem Day celebrates the capture of the Old City and East Jerusalem in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War with Jordan. The annual march involves nationalist Jews moving through the Damascus Gate and into the Muslim Quarter before reaching the Western Wall. Last year’s march on May 10 saw Hamas firing rockets toward Israel on the same day.
Earlier this month Israel’s high court ordered the eviction of 1,000 Palestinians from Masafer Yatta village in the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces then allegedly shot dead Palestinian-American Al Jazeera Journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11.
Considering Israel’s recent approval of further Palestinian evictions and Palestinians’ heightened anger in response to Akleh’s killing, expect today’s Jerusalem Day march to increase already-heightened tensions and provoke violence between Jewish nationalists and Palestinians. Hamas is also reported to be on high alert, making rocket fire toward Israel a likely possibility. With claims over Jerusalem being a central component of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the medium to long-term, expect Palestinian armed group activity and civil resistance to increase as evictions and Israeli claims over all of Jerusalem continue.
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Alex is an Analyst focusing on political events in the post-Soviet space. With a background in international law and diplomacy, his expertise lies in the geopolitical, economic and energy security dynamics of the South Caucasus.