Rikudgalim (file)
Rikudgalim (file)Flash 90

Left-wing NGOs "Tag Meir” (Light Tag) and “Ir Amim" (City of Nations) turned to the Israel Police Jerusalem District demanding to stop this year's traditional Jerusalem Day “Rikudgalim” (Flag Dance or March of Flags) from marching through the streets of the Muslim Quarter in the Old City.

The Rikudgalim has become an annual tradition in which thousands of people parade through the city, and enter the Old City and the Western Wall through the streets of the Muslim Quarter.

In recent years, the march was significantly reduced in the Muslim quarter, mainly for security reasons, but some marchers still enter the city primarily through Damascus Gate.

The left-wing NGOs noted that this year Jerusalem Day falls parallel to the first evening of Ramadan, and the march may coincide with arrival of tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers on the Temple Mount.

"Blocking the roads for Palestinian residents of the Muslim Quarter during the parade is an act of violence and aggression, that has the potential risk of dividing this new Jerusalem," said a statement from Ir Amim.

"The proximity of the parade this year to Ramadan renders a much more difficult situation, that will refrain Muslim residents of the district from preparing for their most important holiday freely."

It should be remembered that last year the same left-wing NGOs petitioned the High Court (Supreme Court) to keep the Jerusalem Day parade from marching through the Muslim sector of the city based on the assertion that in previous years participants had verbally assaulted residents of the Muslim quarter.

The High Court of Justice rejected the petition but said, however, that police must arrest parade participants who shout racist and violent epithets or commit violent acts.