On Jerusalem Day, as tens of thousands celebrated the 1967 reunification of Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to keep the city united and under Israeli sovereignty forever.
Tens of thousands of Israelis thronged the streets of Jerusalem on Sunday, celebrating Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, marking the 48th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967. The eastern part of the city had been occupied by Jordan for 19 years.
The day was celebrated with parades, marches and street concerts played out throughout the city.
One of the main events was Rikud Degalim, the flag dance, during which thousands marched with Israeli flags from the new city center to the Kotel, the Western Wall, in the heart of Old City.
Following the trail of the flag parade, Israeli activists held the “Flower Parade,” during which they handed flowers to Arab residents of the Old City as a token of peace and coexistence.
Marring the festivities, dozens of Arabs rioted at the Shechem Gate, throwing stones and glass bottles at security forces. Two policemen were wounded, and two rioters were arrested.
Jerusalem Will Remain Israel’s Unified Capital
The official state ceremony took place at the Ammunition Hill site, a former Jordanian bunker where the IDF fought a crucial and courageous battle against Jordanian legionnaires.
President Reuven Rivlin spoke at the official Jerusalem Day ceremony at Ammunition Hill National Memorial Site. He lauded Jerusalem’s development into “a state capital with bustling streets filled with young men and women, boys and girls.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the “Islamic fanaticism” threat to Jerusalem, the Middle East and the entire world.
“Extremist Sunni and Shi’ites are fighting each other, but they have a common enemy – the West and the culture of freedom and progress that it represents, said Netanyahu. “Extremists cannot be allowed to achieve their aims, not in Iran, not in Yemen and not in Jerusalem.”
Speaking later at the annual celebration held at Yeshivat Merkaz Harav, the most prominent religious-Zionist academy in the world, Netanyahu vowed to keep Jerusalem united forever.
Relating to the recent wave of Arab terror that has plagued the capital over recent months, Netanyahu said, “We are determined to pursue the terrorists and confront all our enemies like a fortified wall, like the walls of Jerusalem.”
Beyond that, “we have another eternal answer to terrorism – we will continue to develop the city, to build it, to make it a superpower in education and science, the center of the Torah. I pledge that as prime minister I will continue to develop the city. The city was united and will never be divided again.”
“Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital city of the Jewish nation, and not of any other nation. This is where we have begun our path as a nation, this is our home and we are here to stay,” he added. ”Jerusalem will never again become a wounded and divided city; we will forever keep Jerusalem unified and under Israeli sovereignty.”