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Old City celebrates Simchat Torah

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Itongadol.- Despite heightened security concerns following recent attacks against Israelis in the area, hundreds of men and women marched through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem\’s Old City on Monday, draped in prayer shawls in celebration of Simchat Torah under the security of border police soldiers.

The celebratory marches clapped their hands and chanted through the streets, "The eternal nation does not fear the long road."

"In spite of everything, no one will stop the joy of the holiday," said one of the participants. "In spite of the great pain we\’re experiencing because of the murderous attack, we won\’t be stopped."

At the site of an attack Saturday that killed two Israelis, Yeshiva students who were among the marchers embraced one another and shed tears.

"We have to be happy, but it\’s difficult," said one.

Despite the intentions of happiness and celebration, several Arab shopkeepers on the streets closed their doors in fear. "We don\’t want any trouble," one of them said. "There\’s no knowing what might happen here. We prefer to keep a low profile."

The celebrations continued in the streets for over an hour with lots of dancing and singing.

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