Marching in Silwan
Photo: Gil Yonanan
Massive security presence
Photo: Ronen Medzini

Jerusalem: Sukkot parade marchers 'not afraid'

Several hundreds take part in early advanced stage of parade passing by Arab neighborhood under heavy security. 'It's not scary here,' one marcher reassures. Locals embrace clean-up job ahead of event

As the traditional annual Sukkot parade in Jerusalem gets underway, residents of eastern neighborhood Silwan seem less concerned with issues of religious tensions or attempts to Judaize the area and will mostly remember the rare and comprehensive clean-up operation held in their neighborhood.


Hundreds of marchers arriving from all parts of Israel paraded east Jerusalem's main streets Tuesday morning as part of the annual Sukkot parade's early stage for advanced marchers.


Despite general tension in the city in the wake of recent riots in the Old City, atmosphere in Silwan remained tranquil. Marchers walked safely and were surrounded by extensive police and Border Guard forces.

Marching under heavy security (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Tamar and Yitzhak Shavit, who came especially from Haifa, told Ynet they were not scared and pointed to the reinforced security forces. It is their tenth time marching in the parade and the couple said they show up for the unique atmosphere and the joy of seeing both new and familiar faces.


Dov Sagi, a Kfar Saba resident marched together with his beloved dog Jackie. "It's not scary at all, what is there to be afraid of?" he said.


The parade also saw tourists from overseas attending the event. Carmen Linto from Germany related that for her this is a very special occasion. "I came to take part and show solidarity with Israel," she explained. "I'm aware of nearby incidents but am not afraid. I feel safe in Israel and I think God is with us. It is my first time but definitely not the last," she added.

Marching bands also attend parade (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


'Clean-up only once a year'

Murad Knaan, a grocery shop keeper from Silwan watched as marchers pass by from his store window and was mainly bothered by the fact that none of them came into his shop. "Out of 200 maybe one person came in," he noted.


Knaan claimed that despite clashes in the Old City, there are no tensions in the neighborhood. "It's far away from here and does not bother me personally. If people are marching here in an orderly fashion why shouldn’t they? I have no problem."


The shop keeper found at least one reason to embrace the parade held at his neighborhood: "They clean here once a year ahead of this parade. If you'd have come in the morning you would have seen trash everywhere. Now it is all clean. It isn’t always like this."


After Silwan, marchers will continue on to other Jerusalem neighborhoods eventually reaching the Sacher Park. The main parade will leave from there at 2 pm seeing wider participation.


The parade's organizers informed that over 10,000 people have registered for the event Tuesday morning and thousands more are expected to show up later on.


פרסום ראשון: 10.06.09, 11:58
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