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In Photos: The Global March to Jerusalem

To mark the anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, protesters march through the Old City on Friday
Protesters gather at al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City for the Global March to Jerusalem (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

The Global March to Jerusalem is an annual event held in the first week of June to mark the anniversary of the start of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem following the Six Day War in 1967. This year, at least 23 countries around the world are marking the 47th year of the event, according to organisers.

On Friday, protesters gathered outside Damascus Gate at the entrance to the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem to begin their march.

Several Imams spoke about the city's significance and the need for the world to act in its defence. Palestinians want to make East Jerusalem the capital of the state they aim to establish, but Israel sees the city as its capital, a claim that is not internationally recognised.

Specifically, speakers described ongoing Israeli attacks against al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, located in the Old City.  The 25-acre al-Aqsa complex houses the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven.  Next to the Dome of the Rock is the holiest site in Judaism called the Temple Mount.

In recent weeks, closures and attacks on al-Aqsa have intensified. Right-wing Israeli groups have distributed leaflets calling for the mosque to be destroyed and replaced with the ‘Third Jewish Temple’.

The march winded its way through the Old City where many more Palestinians joined the protest before reaching al-Aqsa mosque, where Palestinians prepared for traditional Friday prayers. 

The protest in Jerusalem began at 11am outside Damascus Gate (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

Several religious leaders joined the protest in support of Jerusalem, and its Palestinian identity and people (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

Recent weeks have seen widespread closures which continue to reduce the number of Palestinians who can reach Jerusalem. For most Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, reaching the city has become impossible since 2000 (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

Imams described the Zionist attacks on Jerusalem and its villages that began during the original Nakba years, but still continue today (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

Many Palestinian children are today growing up unable to visit Jerusalem because of the occupation's closures and physical barriers (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

A protester holds a banner that reads 'al-Aqsa Mosque is a read line' (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

As the demonstration passed through Damascus Gate and into the Old City, many more Palestinians began to join in (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

Israeli soldiers and police monitored and followed the protest at all times but did not intervene (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

The Old City and its environs are constantly filled with various branches of the Israeli military and police forces (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

The protest filled the narrow streets leading towards al-Aqsa mosque (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

The Imams lead the protest in to the 'Noble Sanctuary' (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

Closures are also placed on Palestinian Christian sites in Jerusalem, notably during the recent Easter festival when many Christians were denied entry in to the Holy Sepulcher church (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

In recent weeks, Israeli officials have refused access to al-Aqsa for all adults aged under 45 (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)

In 1980, the Israeli Knesset passed a resolution to officially annex East Jerusalem to Israel. This annexation has never been recognised or accepted by most of the international community who consider East Jerusalem as occupied land (MEE/Tarek Tawfik)