US warns of escalations, provocations ahead of flag march in occupied Jerusalem


‘We believe it’s essential to refrain from steps that exacerbate,’ says spokesman.

The US State Department on Wednesday warned of “provocations” ahead of a flag march scheduled for next week in Jerusalem.

Spokesman Ned Price said all sides should do everything to try to “prevent escalations, and provocation” that might renew violence.

“We believe it’s essential to refrain from steps that exacerbate,” he said.

On Tuesday, Israel’s security cabinet announced a flag-waving parade planned by far-right groups in occupied East Jerusalem will be held June 15.

It came after far-right Israeli groups called for the march to pass through the Old City’s Damascus Gate.

A number of security and military officials, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz, warned against allowing the march because of fears of inflaming the situation with the Palestinians.

The march had originally been planned for May 10 to mark what Israelis call the day of unifying Jerusalem, in reference to Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967, but was canceled amid tensions that escalated into 11 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza.