Israel is celebrating the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, its eternal capital. The Old City was liberated during the Six Day War in 1967, after 19 years of Jordanian occupation.
By: World Israel News Staff
Israel is celebrating on Sunday the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, its eternal capital. The Old City was liberated during the Six Day War in 1967, after 19 years of Jordanian occupation.
After Israel declared its independence in 1948, it was attacked by neighboring Arab countries, including Jordan from the east, which captured the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Old City. The Jewish residents were forced out, the Old City’s 58 synagogues were demolished, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was plundered for its tombstones, which were used as paving stones and building materials.
On June 7, 1967, one day into the Six Day War, Israeli forces liberated the Old City and reunified the city.
In 1968 the government proclaimed a new holiday—Jerusalem Day, or Yom Yerushalayim—to be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the Hebrew date on which the city was reunified.
The day is marked with a range of events. Some are spiritual and include the recitation of prayers of praise and thanksgiving in synagogues.
Israelis from all walks of life join in street parades and concerts held throughout the city, notably the Rikud Degalim, or “Flag Dance,” during which thousands march with Israeli flags from the new city center to the Kotel, the Western Wall, in the heart of Old City.
The mayor of Jerusalem is addressing a celebratory reception at the Tower of David museum in the Old City, and state ceremonies and memorial services are held for those who died in the Six Day War.
The state also holds a special memorial for the Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia who walked to Israel, as many died on the way with the hope of seeing the holy city of Jerusalem.
This year’s celebrations are held just a day before the US’ historic relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The US embassy move represents the culmination of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and paves the way for other countries who intend to move their embassies there.
“Big week next week when the American Embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem. Congratulations to all!” President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday.