In an unprecedented display of solidarity, thousands of women dressed in black poured through Jerusalem Friday, calling for peace between Palestinians and Israelis and an end to Israel's occupation of the territories.
"Occupation, no. Peace, yes," Israeli women shouted in Hebrew as they marched from Jewish West Jerusalem, passing the walled Old City, toward Arab East Jerusalem.Arab women sang "Biladi" - "My Homeland" - the Arabic anthem of nationhood as they raised their fingers in the "V for victory" sign and stared toward mounted police riding beside them.
Hundreds of police and paramilitary border patrol soldiers, some stationed on rooftops, kept watch over the impressive stream of women all in black. The 1.5-mile afternoon march caused traffic jams at one of the busiest hours in Jerusalem, one hour before the start of the Jewish Sabbath.
The only trouble occurred at the march's end in East Jerusalem when a crowd of about 100 Palestinians and demonstrators raised outlawed Palestinian flags. When police were unable to wrest the flags away, they used tear gas to disperse the crowd and detained 16 people, including an Italian member of the European Parliament, police and march organizers said.
Police released all but four East Jerusalem Arabs, two West Bank Palestinians and one Israeli within two hours. Several people also were bruised from their brawl with police.