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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

(Andrew Friedman/TPS) Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely led members of the international diplomatic corps in Israel on a tour of the Ammunition Hill heritage site in Jerusalem Tuesday, saying the visit marked the beginning of a two-month celebration of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.

Hotovely compared the Six Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem to the Biblical story of David versus Goliath. “The State of Israel was small and isolated, lacking in both economic power and international support. The country was forced to protect itself from a multiple-front war from the neighboring Arab countries,” he said.

Hotovely also said that the participation of foreign diplomats in the event underscored the fact that Israel is not alone in celebrating the liberation of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation. Although many countries did refuse to attend the tour because it was conducted in an “occupied” section of the city, the deputy foreign minister noted that the city has only maintained religious freedom for all groups under Israeli jurisdiction.

“When we entered the Jewish Quarter in 1967 we found it completely destroyed,” she said. “That is the message to spread around the world. It is critical to get out and to see the reality on the ground in order to understand exactly why Jerusalem must remain united.”

The message was not lost on the visitors. Myanmar Ambassador Maung Maung Lynn said he participated to celebrate the close ties between his country and Israel, and to learn about Israeli history.