A joint demonstration of Israelis and Palestinians gathered at the Anata refugee camp north of Jerusalem to use the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War to host a binational peace event.
Beneath Palestinian flags and banners of jailed Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti, Palestinians called for peace with Israel, which would only come after the cessation of Israeli "occupation" and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Former Fatah security chief Jibril Rajoub said that Israelis and Palestinians had the potential to make peace through bilateral initiatives. "I believe [that] the Israelis here [today] believe in our rights... and must convey this to all Israelis. [Suicide] bombings did not stop because of this wall [Israel's security barrier] but political agreements," Rajoub said, and added that his message, on behalf of all Palestinians, was that only the creation of a Palestinian state, and Israel's recognition of such a state, would bring peace.
Anata Mayor Muhammad Hussein said that peace must remain the emphasis when dealing with the Israelis, something that was not impossible to achieve, he said, due to the universal desire of all nations to coexist.
"Even though there are those who try and hinder it, [peace] will still prevail," he said. Hussein implored all Palestinians in attendance to join him in pursuing peace with his "Israeli friends."
The event was attended by hundreds of Palestinians from all across the West Bank, as well as many Israelis, including musician David Broza.
Guy Elhanan, a member of the Combatants for Peace, told The Jerusalem Post that he was there because he had fought for the IDF and worked for the Palestinian resistance cause, and he had had enough of bloodshed and violence.
"I had enlightenment - not spiritually, but concretely," he said. "Israel is a client of American arms contractors, and a protector for the settlers who are now sitting ducks as the new front lines."
"When new settlements come up, people die in Israel because the Palestinians regard it as incitement. That is what I am tired of," Elhanan said.
"These events are all about dialogue, which is essential," said Ofer Neiman. Both sides talking to each other was rare these days, but there were still problems, he asserted. "Israelis don't want to know what happens on the other side of the wall. Denying occupation is easy when you don't see it," he said.
Neiman said that both sides were guilty of "state-sponsored terrorism, whether it's shooting an unarmed civilian or being a suicide bomber."
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>