Simultaneous Ceremony - Congress and Knesset - Marks Jerusalem Reunification

Jerusalem had been divided after Jordanian forces occupied the eastern part of the city, including the Old City, during Israel's War of Independence in 1948. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, let us pledge to never again divide Jerusalem and to ensure that the Western Wall will always remain under control of the Jewish people. "Bring your embassy to our capital ..."

Addressing Congress, he said the 50th anniversary of reunification is the "appropriate occasion to take these important, just and historic steps".

The event comes only a few days after President Donald Trump signed a waiver on a congressional resolution to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim.

Around 100 VIPs were invited to attend the live event in Israel.

Netanyahu waxed sentimental as he recalled waking up on the morning of June 5 to "a resounding noise".

"We've seen mosques blown up, churches blown up, synagogues blown up". Shells were being fired from Jordan and many, many shells fell on Jerusalem. Because I remember what it was like when it was divided. "I was touching the rock of ages and everything was coming from those stones through my finger to my soul: Abraham, David and Solomon, and our prophets, and the Maccabees, and the ages of dispersion and torment, and the ghettos of Toledo and Warsaw where Jews prayed "next year in Jerusalem" - of salvation, of return, of redemption". Because if the Jews can overcome the worst travails in history, that means there is hope for all humanity.

He urged the declare Yerushalayim the "official and unquestioned capital of the State of Israel". "The (Israeli army) has been held in the West Bank since the Six-Day War, initially to preserve the achievements of the war, but today it is kept there to protect Jewish settlements in a place that does not really belong to us".

MK Dov Khenin of the Arab Joint List, a coalition of political parties representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, denounced the Knesset's invisibilization of Palestinians in its celebration of the 50 years of occupation.

"It's a pleasure to address you from Jerusalem, the eternal undivided capital of the Jewish State of Israel", the prime minister said.

The PA estimated that while 700 children were detained by Israeli forces each year on average across the occupied Palestinian territory, some 2,000 children had been detained since October 2015 over claims of "disrupting public order" by committing acts such as throwing rocks.

  • Zachary Reyes