Accompanied by a heavy police presence, thousands of Israelis marched through Arab sections of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday to celebrate Israel’s capture of the area nearly 50 years ago.
Scuffles broke out as Palestinians staged a counter demonstration and police made six arrests.
The event known by Israel as “Jerusalem Day” is often accompanied by unrest with Arab residents viewing it as a provocation.
A spokesperson for a leftist Israeli organisation explained:
“During the march, the old city is closed and its residents are forbidden from entering and exiting it. They say that this day for them makes them feels like they are in a prison with them being kept inside their houses. They are forbidden to go in and out of the Old City. They say they are also attacked and their properties are destroyed,” said Ahmad Sub Laban , member of Ir Amim organisation.
Around 30,000 Israelis marched through the mostly Muslim quarter after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a civil rights group’s petition to stop them.
Following its capture in 1967 from Jordan, Israel annexed East Jerusalem making it part of its capital in a move never recognised internationally.