Tonight and tomorrow Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem on the 28th of Iyyar 5727 (June 7th 1967), nineteen years after the Jordanian occupation and the expulsion of Jews from Atarot, Neve Ya’akov, the Old City and other Jerusalem neighbourhoods such as Shimon HaTsadik and Nahalat Shimon. Speaking later in the day, then Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan said:
“This morning, the Israel Defense Forces liberated Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to part from it again. To our Arab neighbors we extend, also at this hour—and with added emphasis at this hour—our hand in peace. And to our Christian and Muslim fellow citizens, we solemnly promise full religious freedom and rights. We did not come to Jerusalem for the sake of other peoples’ holy places, and not to interfere with the adherents of other faiths, but in order to safeguard its entirety, and to live there together with others, in unity.”
Happy Jerusalem Day!