Israelis celebrated 41 years since the reunification of their capital, Jerusalem.
Thousands of visitors flocked to Jerusalem late Sunday for 24 hours of festivities marking the Hebrew anniversary of the Six-Day War, when Israeli forces captured the eastern part of the holy city from Jordan.
Traditional thanksgiving prayers were held at Mercaz Harav yeshiva, intellectual home of the religious Zionist movement, and hundreds of youths, Israeli flags in hand, danced in the streets and prepared to take part in an annual march through the Old City to the Western Wall.
This year’s Jerusalem Day comes as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas try to hash out a peace accord before the end of the Bush administration.
Abbas has demanded that East Jerusalem become the capital of a future Palestinian state, but Olmert, while signaling flexibility over the future jurisdiction over outlying Arab neighborhoods, has vowed to keep the city’s core areas under Israeli control.