"No to apartheid," and  "the wall creates a prison for Palestinians, a ghetto for Israel," the demonstrators chanted, many of them waving Palestinian flags.

The protest was organised by two peace groups, the Israeli-Palestinian Taayush movement and the Israeli Gosh Shalom Movement, which calls for ending the occupation and withdrawing from the West Bank, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian Media Centre, our correspondent in Jerusalem said.  

Palestinian resistance groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad also reportedly supported the demonstration. 

East Jerusalem

The correspondent said protesters marched along the wall for two kilometres till the centre of Abu Dis town in East Jerusalem.

Thousands marched along the
wall to Abu Dis in East Jerusalem

Organisers planned the protest to be the biggest peaceful anti-barrier demonstration, he added.

Our correspondent said the wall prevents people in Abu Dis from reaching schools and hospitals. 

The Palestinians charge that the barrier, which in places cuts deep into the West Bank, is a deliberate attempt to pre-empt the borders of their future state.

But Israel insists that the fence is essential for its security.