Israelis march through tense Jerusalem

2016-06-05 20:40
Israelis take part in an annual march marking Israel's 1967 seizure of the Palestinian-dominated eastern half of Jerusalem. (Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

Israelis take part in an annual march marking Israel's 1967 seizure of the Palestinian-dominated eastern half of Jerusalem. (Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

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Jerusalem - Thousands of Israelis marched through Jerusalem's Old City amid high tensions on Sunday to commemorate the capture of the city's eastern sector in the 1967 Mideast war.

The marchers, waving Israeli flags and chanting, paraded through the ancient centre, which is home to the city's most sensitive holy sites. The march snaked through the heart of the Old City's Muslim Quarter, where revellers danced and blew horns.

The march comes amid a nearly nine month-long wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence and may coincide with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In a sign of the strain, Israel's Supreme Court earlier on Sunday limited the march's duration in a bid to "cause minimum friction with Muslim residents".  Police said they expected about 30 000 marchers to attended and beefed up security to ensure calm.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and considers it part of its eternal, undivided capital. The Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their hoped for state.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli authorities said they had obtained "high value information" about the Hamas militant group's tunnel network in the Gaza Strip after arresting a 17-year-old fighter.

Israel said that the teen was nabbed last month after crossing a border fence and entering Israel. Interrogation revealed information about his recruitment and training, most of which involved the Hamas tunnels, the Israeli military said.

Israel said it learned that Hamas' military tunnel network allows it to move fighters throughout Gaza "exclusively underground". The network also includes "rest quarters" for its elite forces.

Information also was obtained on Hamas' methods for digging tunnels, communications means and the locations of shafts to allow units to infiltrate Israel, the military said.

Hamas used tunnels to attack Israel during a 50-day war in 2014.

Read more on:    palestine  |  israel

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