Police in the Old City
Police in the Old City Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

As of Wednesday morning, Israel Police continue to refuse to grant permission for the planned flag march in its current form. The march was intended to set out from Jerusalem's city hall in Safra Square and continue to the Damascus Gate plaza and the Western Wall.

A police statement said that the march could take place only if the route avoided passing through the volatile Damascus Gate, site of multiple clashes between Arab rioters and police over the past weeks.

Police also claimed that the organizers withdrew from a proposal that had already been agreed upon. "After a request was submitted yesterday to hold a procession in Jerusalem, event organizers were contacted in an attempt to allow the march to proceed in accordance to the agreed outline."

"[We] agreed to the alternative route proposed by the event organizer so that the safety of participants would be guaranteed, but he promptly reneged on the offer. At this time, we would like to clarify that we have not agreed to the march within its present arrangements," they were quoted as saying.

Event organizers condemned the decision and claimed it was a direct order from above.

"The Bennett government succumbs to terrorism and puts pressure on police to prevent the march," read a statement by the group. "The march was planned to take place in the heart of Israel's capital city, where every Jew should feel safe," they proclaimed.


"We will not agree and never have agreed to a route that sets the ground for a division of Jerusalem. We will convene [as planned] in Safra Square at 5 p.m. and march to the Old City," said event organizers.

Chairman the Otzma Yehudit party, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, announced his decision to join the march following "[Bennett's] complete surrender [to Arab rioters] on the Temple Mount."

"Bennett abandoned the Temple Mount, abandoned us to our enemies, provided them an easy victory so I cannot be silent and will join other right-wing activists in the march to Damascus Gate, [where] we will proudly hoist the Israeli flag," said Ben-Gvir, adding: "Long live the Jewish people!"

Despite a ban on Jewish visitors to the holy site, Arabs continued to clash with police, setting fire to a rug outside Al Aqsa after tossing molotov cocktails at security forces at the site.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced his decision to close the Temple Mount to Jews for the rest of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in response to recent violence at the site.

The closure is to take effect beginning this Friday.

Temple Mount activists say past closures lasted a maximum of 3-4 days, rather than the 12 ordered by the current administration.

Yamina's Matan Kahana attacked the Religious Zionist Party for its criticism of Bennett's decision to bar Jewish presence on the mount in the last days of Ramadan.

"Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, why the need for empty gossip? Once you're in control of the government, you'll have a golden opportunity to open the mount to Jews 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just keep quiet and let a responsible Prime Minister handle these matters," asked Kahana.

Last Friday, hundreds of Arab youths barricaded themselves in the Al Aqsa Mosque, throwing stones at police.

On Sunday, Arabs attempted to block Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount by placing stones at the passageways used by Jewish pilgrims to the site. In a separate incident, five people were injured when buses carrying worshipers to the Western Wall were stoned by Arabs.

The latest violence follows a string of Arab terror attacks across Israel, including a stabbing attack in Haifa last Friday.