Christian pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem
Jerusalem: Hundreds of Christians from around the world marched from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem to mark Palm on Sunday, retracing the steps of Jesus 2,000 years ago.
The pilgrims waved national and church flags and followed a white donkey, which according to Christian tradition was the way Jesus entered the holy city.
A few dozen Israeli police stood by, a small fraction of the forces on duty in recent weeks because of Palestinian unrest. There were no incidents in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
"I see the problems here as a part of the trip, just showing the extremes of this God-drenched city," said Jane Voigts, a pastor from San Luis Obispo, California. "I`ve really seen more grace and hope amidst the suffering here."
In past weeks, Palestinian demonstrations followed disclosure of Israeli plans to build apartments in east Jerusalem, as well as rededication of an ancient synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem`s Old City.
Most West Bank Palestinians were banned from Jerusalem today in keeping with standing Israeli regulations. Palestinians and backers demanding free access to the holy city briefly broke through a crossing between the West Bank town of Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
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