Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev has informed the United States that the State of Israel will not change the route of the Flag March set for Sunday, Jerusalem Day, in Jerusalem.
US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides expressed concern over the route of the march in a phone call Thursday with Bar Lev, according to the Walla! News site.
According to Ynet, Nides related a request from the Biden Administration to change the route of the march during meetings with Bar Lev and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
The Ynet report cited an unnamed Israeli official who said Nides explained he was worried the event could spark an escalation of violence.
According to the report, Bar Lev told Nides that he understood the concern, but that the route of the march will not change.
“This march is a 30-year-long tradition,” Bar Lev said. He added that police are working to prevent friction and possible provocations during the event.
However, he said, “My father (Haim Barlev), as deputy IDF chief of staff, gave the order to liberate Jerusalem. This is our capital.”
The route of the march will take the participants dancing with Israeli flags down the main street of the capital, through the Damascus Gate and into the Muslim Quarter on their way to the Western Wall, where the parade concludes.
The event is an annual celebration of the reunification of the Israeli capital, and has taken place each year, with the same route, for the past 30 years.
The route of the march does not approach the Al Aqsa Mosque or the Temple Mount Compound, where it is located, and never has.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and Lebanon’s Iranian terror proxy, Hezbollah, have both trumpeted claims that Israelis plan to “storm the Al Aqsa Mosque” in the Old City’s Temple Mount compound – a routine flashpoint for Arab Muslims who believe the lies they are told by their leaders.
Sources in Gaza warned Israel on Monday that terror groups there are preparing for confrontations – including rocket fire – if the march is allowed to move “very close to the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall Plaza.” The source said Hamas is on high alert, emphasizing “this is not an idle threat.”
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah likewise warned during a speech on Wednesday that the march could lead to a “major explosion” in the region.
“The Palestinian resistance is unanimous in responding, and things may lead to a major explosion inside Palestine,” Nasrallah said.
“Any attack on Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock will explode the region, as it provokes every free and honorable person. The persistence in the aggression against Al Aqsa and the holy sites of the city of Jerusalem will lead to a major explosion in the region and with unimaginable consequences,” he said.
Portable bomb shelters were moved into place this week in the southern Israeli border city of Sderot, and Iron Dome installations were deployed in locations around the country in anticipation of possible attacks.
Terrorist leaders are obviously determined to establish a pretext for hostilities, a goal towards which they have been working since the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, which took place in April and during which more than a dozen Israelis were murdered in terror attacks.
The truth, that the marchers won’t “storm” anything, let alone the Al Aqsa Mosque tucked away on the Temple Mount, is clearly irrelevant when terrorists seek an excuse to attack.