Amid violence, Israelis and Palestinians march for peace in Jerusalem

Israelis and Palestinians march for peace
Israelis and Palestinians march for peace

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Story highlights

  • Joint peace march is a response to a wave of violence that has left scores dead
  • Marchers say that peaceful dialogue is the only way forward for both sides

(CNN)Rare glimmers of hope were on display Saturday evening as hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians marched through the streets of central Jerusalem in a joint peace rally.

In response to the wave of violence that saw five knife attacks by Palestinians on Saturday, according to Israeli authorities, demonstrators from both communities took to the streets to call for peaceful dialogue.
    Protesters gathered at Gan Hasus, a park in central Jerusalem, and marched through the city streets, chanting for an end to the violence and urging talks toward a two-state solution in the region.
    Demonstrators, many from left-wing activist groups, marched under the banner "Standing together," beating drums and chanting slogans as they made their way through the city.
    Some carried placards that read "Jews and Arabs standing together against racism" and tweeted action from the march using the hashtag "#NoToDespairJLM."
    Smaller numbers of counterprotesters were also present.
    Organizers of the protest told CNN that they hoped "Standing together" would take off as a movement that could offer Israelis and Palestinians an alternative to the recent violence.
    "It's really something quite big for Jerusalem, especially in these days when fear rules the streets," said Alon-Lee Green, a left-wing activist who was one of the event's organizers.
    "Everything we hear in the news, in the street, in politics, is one voice -- a voice that says the answer to the situation is more arrests of young Palestinians, or more demolition of houses," he said. "We decided that is not the answer. ... The answer is to stand together, Jews and Arabs."
    His views were echoed by those taking part.
    Jews and Arabs march for peace in Jerusalem
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    "We have to talk. We have to start communicating with each other so we will have a true solution," one woman told CNN. "We have to do it for our sake, for our children's sake."
    A man in the crowd said the march was a welcome counterpoint to the ongoing violence. "When people are willing to come out to the streets and say this is worth my Saturday night ... that gives me hope."
    Since the start of October, more than 40 Palestinians have been killed, according to Palestinian officials. Israeli authorities say seven Israelis have died in attacks by Palestinians with knives, guns and cars in the same time period.
    Both sides have traded blame about who is responsible for the ongoing violence.