Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists marched Tuesday in Jerusalem’s Old City, which some say could threaten a fragile cease-fire with Hamas and challenge a fragile new Israeli government.
Police have approved a route that will pass by the Damascus Gate but will not go through it and into the Muslim Quarter. The gate is a flashpoint where Israelis and Palestinians clashed in April and May.
Those clashes spread to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site considered holy by Jews and Muslims.
In May, tensions eventually led to Hamas launching rockets into Israel, sparking an 11-day war that left 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.
Despite concerns the march would be provocative, canceling it would have been considered politically difficult for Israel’s new coalition government, which includes parties across the political spectrum, including a small Arab party.
Mansour Abbas, the leader of the coalition member Raam party, said the marchers are intent on undermining the new government.
"I call on all sides not to be dragged into an escalation and maintain maximum restraint," he said.
Hamas has called for Palestinians to resist the march.
Benny Gantz, the Israeli defense minister, called for avoiding friction to protect the safety of “Jews and Arabs alike.”
There were reports of balloons with burning rags being launched from Gaza into Israel to protest the march.