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Police mull limiting or canceling Jerusalem Day events amid tensions – report

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Security officials were reportedly considering placing limits on Jerusalem Day events or canceling them entirely as tensions remained high in the capital with further violence at the conclusion of Sunday morning prayers.

According to the report, the fast-moving situation meant that police were holding assessments every few hours to leave all options on the table for as long as possible ahead of the commemorations set to begin on Sunday evening.

Additionally, the Haaretz daily reported that security officials warned the cabinet that the contentious Flag March set to be held on Monday could lead to an escalation in violence.

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai held a security assessment on Saturday on the recent tensions in Jerusalem and ordered commanders, in particular in the Jerusalem area, to “significantly” boost their forces ahead of “another series of expected events over the coming days.”

An Israeli police officer stands guard at the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem after clashes at the Temple Mount, May 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

That was apparently referring to Jerusalem Day, a national holiday that begins Sunday night, in which Israel celebrates the unification of Jerusalem and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city.

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The main event on Monday, the so-called Flag March, usually draws tens of thousands to Jerusalem’s Old City, including a large contingent of Jewish religious nationalists. Mass prayer services and gatherings were also expected to be held Sunday night.

Meanwhile, an anonymous police official told Channel 12 news that there were concerns that any potential fatalities in Jerusalem could deteriorate very quickly into a larger and more widescale conflict. Therefore, the source said, officers on the ground had been........

© The Times of Israel

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