Tens of thousands of participants from 80 different countries took part Tuesday in the annual march in Jerusalem marking the 50th anniversary of the city's unification.
Israeli tourists, IDF soldiers, representatives of the security and rescue forces, street artists, dancers, musicians and dozens of groups representing public bodies were seen walking side by side.
"I came because I love Israel," said Jenny from the United States. "This is my 20th trip here, this time through ICEJ (the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem—ed). We are happy to do things for Israel. It's an amazing country. "
"I'm a Christian but I feel connected to Israel," said Marissa from Catalonia. "I do not know how to explain it, but I feel very close to it. All Christians feel that way. "
As participants gathered to start the march, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat welcomed one and all.
"The Jerusalem march is a tradition which lasted for more than 60 years. Every year it is exciting again, though as this year we celebrate 50 years of unification it is even more exciting than ever," he said.
Avihu Sofer and Brig. Gen. (Res.) Ram Shmueli, joint chairpersons of "Meetchabrim (Connecting)–Building a future together," said "the people of Israel and Israeli society desperately need to strengthen the unity and connection between different people.
"Unity and not uniformity," they added. "This year's march is marked by the connection between us and the connection to Jerusalem.