Jerusalem police and residents were bracing for extremist ministers and their supporters to rally on Thursday in an annual flag-waving march commemorating Israel’s capture of the Old City. Palestinians in Jerusalem, who are forced to close their shops and are banned from the social hub of Damascus Gate to make way for the marchers, view the parade as a provocative move. On the eve of the march, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the “fateful day in 1967 when we liberated Jerusalem and reunited it.” Two of his extreme-right cabinet members, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, are expected to attend Thursday’s rally. Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel annexed east Jerusalem and its Old City in a move never recognised by the international community. Netanyahu said “we are also doing this against all of the threats around us,” days into a ceasefire which ended deadly cross-border fighting with Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza. Thirty-three people including multiple civilians were killed in the blockaded Palestinian enclave and two in Israel, a citizen and a Gazan labourer. Militant group Hamas which rules the coastal territory said ahead of the march it “condemns the campaign of the Zionist occupation (Israel) against our Palestinian people in occupied Jerusalem”. Two years ago, after weeks of violence in Jerusalem in which scores of Palestinians were wounded, a war between Hamas and Israel erupted during the march. Some 2,500 police officers are being drawn in to secure the march, which begins in the western part of the city at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT). Last year, there were several isolated incidents of violence around the rally.