On the eve of Jerusalem Day Flag on Thursday and Friday, Israeli police accused Iran of trying to disrupt a traditional march by creating “wild” incitement.
Police chief Kobi Shabtai warned against Iran-backed terror group incitement, saying “terrorist elements motivated by Iran — through Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad — have been spreading false information on social media about the route of the flag parade…. in the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.”
“The goal of those terrorist elements is clear — it is to create wild incitement to terrorism against the thousands of Israelis who will come to celebrate Jerusalem Day at a number of events,” he said.
More than 3,000 police officers will be deployed across the city for the Jerusalem Day Flag March, which is anticipated to attract tens of thousands of mostly Orthodox Jewish nationalists.
The event marks Israel's unification of East and West Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War, but has gained notoriety over the years due to hate speech and violence by some Jewish participants.
On Wednesday, Hamas officials threatened an unspecified response if the march went ahead.
“The Zionist Flag March will not pass, and the response will inevitably come,” said senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil in a statement.
Israel has warned Hamas that if it fires rockets, it will respond.
Iranian proxies in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria have all recently attacked Israel with rockets as tensions simmered during the month of Ramadan.