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Tens of Thousands Flood Jerusalem to Celebrate Jerusalem Day

Tens of thousands of Israelis and tourists are celebrating the 38th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem today, following all-night festivities throughout the city.
First Publish: 6/7/2005, 10:58 AM / Last Update: 6/6/2005, 3:31 PM

A "Rikud’galim" (dancing with flags) began at 3:30 Monday afternoon from Independence part and Sachar Park and continued to the center of the city. Thousands of schoolchildren are singing and dancing in the parade as they wave flags of the State of Israel. Parents of young terrorist victims are leading the march.

Last night at 10 PM, the traditional thanksgiving march set off for the Old City from the Merkaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, near the Central Bus Station. Participating were Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin, rabbis, public figures, and marchers from all over the country.

The Cabinet convened this afternoon for a special session in honor of Jerusalem at Ammunition Hill - the site of an important Six Day War battle - and approved a 280-million shekel aid package to the capital.

Tens of thousands lined the streets of the capital Sunday afternoon during the annual agricultural parade, with floats from regional councils in farming areas throughout the country. Thousands of participants and onlookers wore bright orange shirts on which was written, "A Jew Does Not Expel a Jew," referring to the government plan to force more than 9,000 Jews out of their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria.

The parade included representatives of religious and secular kibbutzim and moshavim from the Jordan Valley, the southern Hevron Hills, Gush Katif, the Jezreel Valley, Mount Gilboa and Gezer, near Tel Aviv. Old tractors, used in the first days of modern Israeli farming, rolled down the streets, followed by dancers and acrobats, soldiers, police and rescue personnel.

From Yeshivat Beit Orot on Mt. Scopus, near the site of a key battle in the Six Day War in which Jerusalem was returned to Israel, students paraded to the Western Wall (Kotel) where they danced and prayed.

See photos here.