JERUSALEM (JTA) – Participants in the annual Jerusalem Day flag march came under attack from Muslims in the Old City of Jerusalem.
At least two police officers were injured Sunday afternoon near the Damascus Gate, which leads to the Old City’s Muslim Quarter and the popular Arab market.
Palestinians, some carrying Palestinian flags, threw rocks at police and marchers. At least two Palestinian Muslims were arrested. Jewish marchers and Palestinians also brawled along the route.
Thousands of Israelis participate in the annual Jerusalem Day march, which runs through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter en route to the Western Wall. Jerusalem Day marks the reunification of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.
A special prayer service at the Western Wall was due to be held Sunday evening, followed by a rally in the Western Wall plaza attended by thousands.
Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition to change the route of the march to avoid confrontation between Jewish Israelis and Muslims.
The court ordered police to arrest any participants who shout racist slogans or engage in violence or vandalism during the march. Arab residents of the Old City also must be given full access to their homes and businesses during the march, the court ruled.
Last year, marchers were caught on video shouting “Death to Arabs” and “Muhammad is dead.”