Israel, Jewish world marks 9th of Av

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2011

Thousands of people have visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem today to mark the sombre fast of the 9th of Av.

The 25 hour fast is observed in memory of a number of tragic events in Jewish history, including the destruction of both temples and the Babylonian exile, the collapse of the Bar Kochba revolt and the start of the Spanish Inquisition.

This year Israeli Jews were fasting at the same time as Muslim citizens who were marking the second week of Ramadan.

Protesters at "Tent City" in Tel Aviv also stressed the need for a calmer atmosphere given the occasion, and read from the book of Lamentations. A "social fast" was also organised at the demonstration site.

One of the organisers of that fast, Gilad Maayan, told Ynet: "The Jewish state was destroyed once due to social injustice – the exact same thing we protest today."

Last updated: 3:11pm, August 9 2011