Incoming Public Security Minister Omer Barlev on Monday gave the go-ahead to a contentious Jewish nationalist parade that was scheduled to take place in East Jerusalem the next day.
"In a democracy, it is allowed and important to demonstrate within the confines of the law," Barlev was quoted by the Times of Israel as saying.
"We will hold a police assessment about the events and we will operate according to the recommendations of the police."
Following an assessment briefing with Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and security officials, Barlev approved the march's route.
"I was under the impression that the police is well prepared and that a great effort has been made to safeguard the delicate fabric of life and public safety," he said in a statement.
The march will proceed down Sultan Suleiman road before arriving at the Damascus Gate. An Israeli flag dance will be held at the plaza in front of the gate. The marchers, however, will not enter the Old City through the Damascus Gate.
From the Damascus Gate, marchers will pass through the Jaffa Gate and head toward the Western Wall through peripheral areas of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Part of the route will be detoured through the Jewish Quarter due to security concerns and to prevent overcrowding.
Earlier Monday, the predominantly Arab Joint List to Barlev and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, calling for the event, dubbed the March of the Flags, to be canceled immediately.
"Over the past month we have been witness to the rising tensions in Jerusalem which have led to terrible bloodshed and dangerous regional flareups," the party said. "We warn ahead of time that the event is highly likely to reignite tensions and lead to dangerous violence and escalation."
The Jerusalem Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) warned Sunday of an "explosion" if the march goes through the capital's Old City.
The PLO said that ensuing unrest could extend beyond Jerusalem to the Palestinian territories if the march takes place, saying that the "occupation authorities" have not learned from the political changes in the region and internationally.
Hamas has also launched a warning to Israel that it would respond fiercely to the Jewish state's "regular activities" in Jerusalem, saying it had not ruled out the option of resuming rocket fire at cities across the country due to actions it found objectionable.
The IDF ordered in response to field additional Iron Dome missile defense system batteries across Israel's south.
Ministers voted last week to allow the march following a compromise between outgoing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with a route to be decided between the organizers and police.
The annual parade marks the reunification of the capital after the 1967 Six-Day War and usually takes place on Jerusalem Day, which this year fell on May 10. The march was interrupted when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem from Gaza, marking the start of a bitter 11-day conflict.
Ahead of the cabinet vote, ministers were warned by defense officials that the parade's traditional route could lead to a flare-up in tensions not only within the city, also spilling over to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and other places across Israel.
The annual march was also called off in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
First published: 19:31, 06.14.21