Thousands of Israelis from Jerusalem and nationwide turned out to attend the parade, plus some 7,000 Christian tourists came all the way to the Holy Land to express their solidarity with Israel and the Jewish nation.
Among the marchers were also government employees and representatives of various communities and regional councils.
For the first time this year, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel banned Jews from participating in the parade, fearing missionary influences. However, despite the ban, many religious and Orthodox Jews still turned out to watch and participate in the Sukkot festivities.
Representatives of the Rabbinate were present at the march handing out flyers, headlined "Missionary Threat", which explained the opposition to the Christian participation in the parade.
Meanwhile, three American citizens were detained when one of them disrupted the march by holding up a large cardboard crucifix and yelling, “This is our march”. The three refused to cooperate with police during their investigation.
'Feel the unity'
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski told Ynet, "Everyone here today feels the unity – this is Jerusalem. I hope we can continue living in Jerusalem in love and happiness, each with his heritage and opinion, and everyone together in unity in love."
Yehoshua Golan came to the parade all the way from Hadera, as he does nearly every year. He said his deep tie to Jerusalem was what motivated him to come. "If foreigners and Christians come all the way to Jerusalem, then we (Israelis) definitely need to show up for this sort of event," Golan told Ynet.
"Every Jew should have a deep bond with the city, regardless of sector or political views. Jerusalem crosses borders in all senses. The Jewish people without Jerusalem is a people without roots and without a future," he added.
Dalia Fadaly, a Jerusalem local, said she "really loves the people that come to march. We were born here, where Safra Square is today, and to see all these people come from abroad to identify with us is very exciting."
Efrat Weiss contributed to the report