Sheikh Jarrah- Emil Salman- March 27, 2010
Left-wing activists demonstrating in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem Mar. 27, 2010 Photo by Emil Salman
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Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians are expected to take part in a march on Friday, titled 'March for Independence' calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state.

The organizers of the march said that the recognition of Palestine as an independent state should come before negotiations, and not as a result.

The event represents a rare cooperation between the left-wing Solidarity movement and the popular committees of East Jerusalem. The organizers claim that this is the first Jewish-Arab event of its kind to be held in Jerusalem since 1991.

The march will begin in Jaffa Gate and end in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the opposite route taken by right-wing activists during Jerusalem Day last month.

The event is coordinated with the police, and the organizers have pledged to prevent any violence from breaking out, despite right-wing counter-protests expected to take place.

"After years of Israel speaking about peace and building settlements, checkpoints, walls and outposts, the young generations from both sides are starting to understand that they are being duped," said Hillel Ben Sasson from the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement.
He added that "in Jerusalem of all places, the heart of the conflict,

Israelis and Palestinians will march together calling for independence and for an end to the running amok of the Netanyahu government, which is leading us to a political abyss."