November 30, 2023

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In Jerusalem, Palestinians and Israelis gather to call for peace and the release of hostages.

In Jerusalem, Palestinians and Israelis gather to call for peace and the release of hostages.

A month after the Hamas attack, several rallies and prayers were held in Jerusalem, in front of the Jaffa Gate and the Western Wall.

This Tuesday, November 7, few attended the rally organized in front of the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. About thirty Palestinians and Israelis gathered with more journalists to deliver a strong message: asking for peace. The first since the terrorist attack and war between Hamas and Israel began a month ago.

For 15 minutes, they remained silent in a circle, next to each other, with downward gazes, gathered a few meters from the old city, illuminated at the end of the day. The Jerusalem Development Fund is chaired by Palestinian Samer Sinijlaoui. “Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Muslims and Christians, we come together to mourn the loss of innocent lives. The anger is very strong, but we are here to say that we must come together and feel each other’s pain. Try to end this suffering. That is the message!”

A peace rally in front of the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem bringing together Israelis and Palestinians.  (Thibault Lefebvre / RadioFrance)

Around him, mainly activists Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, an Israeli whose eyes are full of sadness since October 7: “I have a friend who is one of the hostages.” He campaigns for the creation of a Palestinian state: “But on the other hand, killing 3,500 children … we have to stop the occupation, give everyone freedom and stop bombing so many children.”

“We’re patient, but at a certain point, enough is enough.”

Another rally was held in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Jews prayed for the release of 240 hostages held by Hamas. Next to the hundreds of burning candles at the end of the square, a small, united group, hand in hand. “We truly believe in God, we believe in the government, the army, and I believe they are doing everything they can to free the hostages”Supernova informs Rosita of the photo she holds of her son, who was abducted during the festival.

Impatience invades speech, “It’s been 32 days”This woman is taken away and this father, tired, wants an exchange to see his son again. “I believe they will eventually open the doors to all the prisons here. And send out all our enemies. Theseā€¦ I don’t want to say who they are.”

Families and loved ones of 240 Hamas hostages stage a moment of reflection Tuesday, November 7, 2023, in front of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel (Willy Morrow / RadioFrance).

Prayer “comforting”, But words are difficult. A woman covers her hair and starts crying. It targets Hamas. “The devil must be exterminated. We are a peaceful people, we sing, we dance, we celebrate, but some things cannot be. We are patient, but at a certain point, enough is enough.” Others enforce the ceasefire without truly believing it. A father says the coming weeks will be tough.

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