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Planned Israeli flag march will cause “a new explosion,” threatens PA official

Headline: “Israeli assessments that the provocative ‘Flag March’ will be approved, Siyam warns that it will cause a new explosion in Jerusalem”

“[PA] Jerusalem Deputy District Governor Abdallah Siyam warned against the [Israeli] flag dance march that the occupation is organizing this Thursday [June 10, 2021] in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, because this will cause a new explosion in the city (refers to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.).

In an interview to [the official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine yesterday [June 5, 2021], Siyam said that these marches are a continuation of the marches that were planned for the 28th of Ramadan (i.e., May 10, 2021, when Jerusalem Day marches were cancelled due to violent Arab riots and Hamas began rocket barrages at Israeli cities). He emphasized that the Jerusalem residents’ defense of their holy sites is connected to their faith and not to a certain period of time, and that they will thwart this plan with their determination and resolve, as they thwarted it in the past.”

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.