JERUSALEM, May 28 (Xinhua) -- More than 20,000 people on Wednesday marched in streets of Jerusalem to celebrate the 47th anniversary of Jerusalem Day, an occasion to mark the " reunification" of the city after Israel took control of the Arab eastern part during the 1967 Middle East War.
Kicking off on Tuesday with an open air concert and fireworks, the celebration continued on Wednesday with a march across the city. Carrying the flag of Israel, a sea of people, mainly nationalist-religious Jews, danced and chanted to glorify the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.
Earlier on Wednesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a special address to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, to mark Jerusalem Day. "Forty-seven years ago, Jerusalem was reunited... And it will never be divided again," he said.
In 1980, Israel annexed the Arab eastern Jerusalem and "unified " the city, but the move has not been recognized by the international community. The annexation has become a major hurdle in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, as the Palestinians demand a state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Israeli human rights organizations said that Jerusalem is still sharply divided and that residents in its eastern part suffer from discrimination in municipal, health and education services.
For people living in east Jerusalem, they felt the celebration march is a provocation intended to emphasize the Israeli control over what they consider as their land. Tensions in eastern Jerusalem have soared as tens of Palestinians clashed with police during the celebration.
Hundreds of national and paramilitary border police have been employed to secure the event, an Israeli police spokesperson said, adding that "nine people were arrested after they hurled stones at the police."