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Jerusalem infobox image.JPG
From upper left: Jerusalem skyline looking north from St. Elijah Monastery, a souq in the Old City, Mamilla Mall, the Knesset, the Dome of the Rock, the citadel (known as the Tower of David) and the Old City walls, and the Western Wall.
Ir ha-Kodesh (The Holy City),
Bayt al-Maqdis (House of the Holiness)
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Coordinates: 31°47′N35°13′E / 31.783°N 35.217°E / 31.783; 35.217 Coordinates: 31°47′N35°13′E / 31.783°N 35.217°E / 31.783; 35.217
Administered by Israel
Claimed by Israel and Palestine [note 1]
Israeli district Jerusalem
Palestinian governorate Quds
Gihon Spring settlement3000–2800 BCE
City of David c. 1000 BCE
Present Old City walls built1541
East-West Jerusalem division 1948
Reunification 1967
Jerusalem Law 1980
  Type Mayor–council
  Body Jerusalem Municipality
  Israeli mayor Moshe Lion (Likud)
  City125,156  dunams (125.156 km2 or 48.323 sq mi)
652,000 dunams (652 km2 or 252 sq mi)
754 m (2,474 ft)
 (2018) [5]
  Density7,300/km2 (19,000/sq mi)
Demonyms Jerusalemite (Yerushalmi)
Demographics (2017)
   Jewish 60.8%
   Arab 37.9%
Time zone UTC+02:00 (IST, PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC+03:00 (IDT, PDT)
Postal code
Area code +972-2
HDI (2018)0.704 [9] high
Official name Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls
Criteriaii, iii, vi
Reference no. 148
Region Jerusalem District
Endangered 1982–present

Jerusalem ( /əˈrsələm/ ; Hebrew : יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Loudspeaker.svg Yerushaláyim ; Arabic : القُدس Loudspeaker.svg al-Quds or Bayt al-Maqdis, also spelled Baitul Muqaddas [10] [11] [12] ) [note 2] is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religionsJudaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally. [note 3] [13]


During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. [14] The part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. [15] [16] Jerusalem was named as Urusalim on ancient Egyptian tablets, probably meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period (14th century BCE). During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE (Iron Age II), and in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah. [17] In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. [18] The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. [19] Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising approximately 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. [20] [note 4] In 2016, the population was 882,700, of which Jews comprised 536,600 (60.8%), Muslims 319,800 (36.2%), Christians 15,800 (1.8%), and 10,300 unclassified (1.2%). [22]

According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. [note 5] Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and later monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, [24] [25] [26] one of the Ancient Canaanite deities. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. [27] [28] The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated 'ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. [29] [30] [31] The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint [32] which Christians adopted as their own authority, [33] was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. [34] [35] In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), [36] and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran. [37] [38] As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi), [39] the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb.

Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. [note 6] One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister (Beit Aghion) and President (Beit HaNassi), and the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, [43] [44] [45] [46] Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. [47] [48]

Names: history and etymology

Ancient Egyptian sources

A city called Rušalim in the execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 19th century BCE) is widely, but not universally, identified as Jerusalem. [49] [50] Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba (1330s BCE). [51]


The name "Jerusalem" is variously etymologized to mean "foundation (Sumerian yeru, 'settlement'/Semitic yry' 'to found, to lay a cornerstone') of the god Shalem"; [52] [53] the god Shalem was thus the original tutelary deity of the Bronze Age city. [54]

Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived (Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew). [55] [56] The name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", [53] [57] "Abode of Peace", [58] [59] "dwelling of peace" ("founded in safety"), [60] alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. [61]

The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city initially sat on two hills. [62] [63]

Hebrew Bible and Jewish sources

The form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) first appears in the Bible, in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of "Yireh" ("The abiding place", the name given by Abraham to the place where he began to sacrifice his son) and " Shalem " ("Place of Peace", given by high priest Shem), then the two names were united by God. [64]

Oldest written mention of "Jerusalem"

The earliest extra-biblical Hebrew writing of the word Jerusalem is dated to the sixth or seventh century BCE [65] [66] and was discovered in Khirbet Beit Lei near Beit Guvrin in 1961. The inscription states: "I am Yahweh thy God, I will accept the cities of Judah and I will redeem Jerusalem", [67] [68] [69] or as other scholars suggest: "Yahweh is the God of the whole earth. The mountains of Judah belong to him, to the God of Jerusalem". [70] [71]

Jebus, Zion, City of David

An ancient settlement of Jerusalem, founded as early as the Bronze Age on the hill above the Gihon Spring, was, according to the Bible named Jebus (e.g., Judges 19:10 : יְב֔וּס הִ֖יא יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם: "Jebus, it [is] Jerusalem" [72] ). [73] Called the "Fortress of Zion" (metsudat Zion), it was renamed by David as the City of David, [74] and was known by this name in antiquity. [75] [76] Another name, "Zion", initially referred to a distinct part of the city, but later came to signify the city as a whole and to represent the biblical Land of Israel.

Greek, Roman and Byzantine names

In Greek and Latin the city's name was transliterated Hierosolyma (Greek: Ἱεροσόλυμα; in Greek hieròs, ἱερός, means holy), although the city was renamed Aelia Capitolina for part of the Roman period of its history.


The Aramaic Apocryphon of Genesis of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QapGen 22:13) equates Jerusalem with the earlier "Salem" (שלם), said to be the kingdom of Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18 . Other early Hebrew sources, [77] early Christian renderings of the verse [78] and targumim , [79] however, put Salem in Northern Israel near Shechem (Sichem), now Nablus, a city of some importance in early sacred Hebrew writing. [80] Possibly the redactor of the Apocryphon of Genesis wanted to dissociate Melchizedek from the area of Shechem, which at the time was in possession of the Samaritans. [81] However that may be, later Rabbinic sources also equate Salem with Jerusalem, mainly to link Melchizedek to later Temple traditions. [82]

Arabic names

In Arabic, Jerusalem is most commonly known as القُدس, transliterated as al-Quds and meaning "The Holy" or "The Holy Sanctuary". [58] [59] Official Israeli government policy mandates that أُورُشَلِيمَ, transliterated as Ūršalīm, which is the cognate of the Hebrew and English names, be used as the Arabic language name for the city in conjunction with القُدس. أُورُشَلِيمَ-القُدس. [83] Palestinian Arab families who hail from this city are often called "Qudsi" or "Maqdisi", while Palestinian Muslim Jerusalemites may use these terms as a demonym. [84]


Given the city's central position in both Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism, the selectivity required to summarize some 5,000 years of inhabited history is often influenced by ideological bias or background. [85] Israeli or Jewish nationalists claim a right to the city based on Jewish indigeneity to the land, particularly their origins in and descent from the Israelites, for whom Jerusalem is their capital, and their yearning for return. [86] [87] In contrast, Palestinian nationalists claim the right to the city based on modern Palestinians' longstanding presence and descent from many different peoples who have settled or lived in the region over the centuries. [88] [89] Both sides claim the history of the city has been politicized by the other in order to strengthen their relative claims to the city, [47] [90] [91] and that this is borne out by the different focuses the different writers place on the various events and eras in the city's history.

Overview of Jerusalem's historical periods

Reunification of JerusalemOccupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by JordanBritish EmpireOttoman EmpireMamluk Sultanate (Cairo)Ayyubid EmpireKingdom of JerusalemAyyubid EmpireKingdom of JerusalemFatimid CaliphateSeljuq EmpireFatimid CaliphateIkhshididAbbasid CaliphateTulunidAbbasid CaliphateUmayyad CaliphateRashidun CaliphateByzantine EmpireSassanid EmpireByzantine EmpireRoman EmpireHasmonean KingdomSyrian WarsAchaemenid EmpireNeo-Babylonian EmpireLate Period of ancient EgyptNeo-Babylonian EmpireNeo-Assyrian EmpireKingdom of JudahUnited Monarchy of IsraelJebusiteEgyptian New KingdomCanaanJerusalem


Jerusalem proper

For historians and archaeologists, it is Jerusalem's South-East Hill, known as the City of David, that is taken into consideration when discussing the age of Jerusalem, since it is the most widely accepted site considered to be where permanent settlement began in ancient Jerusalem.


There have been confusing press headings claiming that the age of Jerusalem has to be pushed back, when in fact the respective articles were dealing with findings from nearby Shuafat, a town that historically and archaeologically cannot been equated with Jerusalem.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Shuafat was incorporated into the Jerusalem municipal district, in a move not internationally recognized. [92] [93] Shuafat lies about 6 kilometres north of Jerusalem's oldest historical part, the so-called City of David, and about 5 kilometres north of the walled Old City. What is today Shuafat laid outside the settlement area of its neighbour, Jerusalem, throughout the Bronze Age and until Jerusalem's destruction in 70 CE, [94] and even outside Jerusalem's main Second Temple period northern necropolis. [95] Shuafat is officially described in archaeological terms as being "in the vicinity of Jerusalem". [96]

Shuafat has an intermittent settlement history, in part from periods other than Jerusalem's, with 7000-year-old architectural findings from the Chalcolithic, [97] then from the Second Temple period (2nd–1st century BCE, a fortified agricultural settlement) [98] [99] [100] and the short period between the end of the First Jewish–Roman War (66–70) and the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135), being re-inhabited on a smaller scale during the 2nd–4th centuries CE. [101]


The South-Eastern Hill, also known as the City of David, is the initial nucleus of historical Jerusalem. [102] [15] There, the Gihon Spring attracted shepherds who camped near the water between 6 and 7000 years ago, leaving behind ceramics and flint artifacts [15] during the Chalcolithic, or Copper Age (c. 4500–3500 BCE). [102] [103]

Ancient period

Stepped Stone Structure in Ophel/City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem City of David - The Stepped Stone Stracture IMG 5828.JPG
Stepped Stone Structure in Ophel/City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem

Permanent houses only appeared on the South-Eastern Hill several centuries later, with a small village emerging around 3000–2800 BCE, [15] [103] during the Early Bronze Age I or II. [102] Some call the site of this first settlement, the Ophel ridge. [104] The city's inhabitants at this time were Canaanites, who are believed by scholars to have evolved into the Israelites via the development of a distinct Yahweh-centric monotheistic belief system. [105] [106] [26]

The Execration Texts (c. 19th century BCE), which refer to a city called rwš3lmm, variously transcribed as Rušalimum/Urušalimum/Rôsh-ramen [103] [107] and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BCE) may be the earliest mention of the city. [108] [109] Nadav Na'aman argues its fortification as the centre of a kingdom dates to around the 18th century BCE. [110]

In the Late Bronze Age, Jerusalem was the capital of an Egyptian vassal city-state, [111] a modest settlement governing a few outlying villages and pastoral areas, with a small Egyptian garrison and ruled by appointees such as king Abdi-Heba, [112] At the time of Seti I (r. 1290–1279 BCE) and Ramesses II (r. 1279–1213 BCE), major construction took place as prosperity increased. [113]

Archaeological remains from the ancient Israelite period include the Siloam Tunnel, an aqueduct built by Judahite king Hezekiah and once containing an ancient Hebrew inscription, known as the Siloam Inscription; [114] the so-called Broad Wall, a defensive fortification built in the 8th century BCE, also by Hezekiah; [115] the Silwan necropolis with the Monolith of Silwan and the Tomb of the Royal Steward, which were decorated with monumental Hebrew inscriptions; [116] and the so-called Israelite Tower, remnants of ancient fortifications, built from large, sturdy rocks with carved cornerstones. [117] A huge water reservoir dating from this period was discovered in 2012 near Robinson's Arch, indicating the existence of a densely built-up quarter across the area west of the Temple Mount during the Kingdom of Judah. [118]

The First Temple period ended around 586 BCE, as Nebuchadnezzar's Neo-Babylonian Empire conquered Judah and Jerusalem, and laid waste to Solomon's Temple and the city. [119]

Biblical account

This period, when Canaan formed part of the Egyptian empire, corresponds in biblical accounts to Joshua's invasion, [120] but almost all scholars agree that the Book of Joshua holds little historical value for early Israel. [121]

In the Bible, Jerusalem is defined as lying within territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin [122] though occupied by Jebusites. David is said to have conquered these in the Siege of Jebus, and transferred his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem which then became the capital of a united Kingdom of Israel, [123] and one of its several religious centres. [124] The choice was perhaps dictated by the fact that Jerusalem did not form part of Israel's tribal system, and was thus suited to serve as the centre of its confederation. [113] Opinion is divided over whether the so-called Large Stone Structure and the nearby Stepped Stone Structure may be identified with King David's palace, or dates to a later period. [125] [126]

Antiquated (1910) reconstruction of Solomon's Temple, based on the biblical text Jerusalem Ugglan 1.jpg
Antiquated (1910) reconstruction of Solomon's Temple, based on the biblical text

According to the Bible, King David reigned for 40 years [127] and was succeeded by his son Solomon, [128] who built the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah. Solomon's Temple (later known as the First Temple), went on to play a pivotal role in Jewish religion as the repository of the Ark of the Covenant. [129] On Solomon's death, ten of the northern Tribes of Israel broke with the United Monarchy to form their own nation, with its kings, prophets, priests, traditions relating to religion, capitals and temples in northern Israel. The southern tribes, together with the Aaronid priesthood, remained in Jerusalem, with the city becoming the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. [130] [131]

When the Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE, Jerusalem was strengthened by a great influx of refugees from the northern kingdom.

Classical antiquity

In 538 BCE, the Persian King Cyrus the Great invited the Jews of Babylon to return to Judah to rebuild the Temple. [132] Construction of the Second Temple was completed in 516 BCE, during the reign of Darius the Great, 70 years after the destruction of the First Temple. [133] [134]

Sometime soon after 485 BCE Jerusalem was besieged, conquered and largely destroyed by a coalition of neighbouring states. [135] In about 445 BCE, King Artaxerxes I of Persia issued a decree allowing the city (including its walls) to be rebuilt. [136] Jerusalem resumed its role as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship.

The Holyland Model of Jerusalem Second Temple model, first created in 1966 and since then updated according to advancing archaeological knowledge Jerusalem Modell BW 2.JPG
The Holyland Model of Jerusalem Second Temple model, first created in 1966 and since then updated according to advancing archaeological knowledge

Many Jewish tombs from the Second Temple period have been rediscovered in Jerusalem. One example, discovered north of the Old City, contains human remains in an ossuary decorated with the Aramaic inscription "Simon the Temple Builder." [137] The Tomb of Abba, also located north of the Old City, bears an Aramaic inscription with Paleo-Hebrew letters reading: "I, Abba, son of the priest Eleaz(ar), son of Aaron the high (priest), Abba, the oppressed and the persecuted, who was born in Jerusalem, and went into exile into Babylonia and brought (back to Jerusalem) Mattathi(ah), son of Jud(ah), and buried him in a cave which I bought by deed." [138] The Tomb of Benei Hezir located in Kidron Valley is decorated by monumental Doric columns and Hebrew inscription, identifying it as the burial site of Second Temple priests. [137] The Tombs of the Sanhedrin, an underground complex of 63 rock-cut tombs, is located in a public park in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sanhedria. These tombs, probably reserved for members of the Sanhedrin [139] [140] and inscribed by ancient Hebrew and Aramaic writings, are dated to between 100 BCE and 100 CE.

When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, Jerusalem and Judea came under Macedonian control, eventually falling to the Ptolemaic dynasty under Ptolemy I. In 198 BCE, Ptolemy V Epiphanes lost Jerusalem and Judea to the Seleucids under Antiochus III. The Seleucid attempt to recast Jerusalem as a Hellenized city-state came to a head in 168 BCE with the successful Maccabean revolt of Mattathias and his five sons against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and their establishment of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 152 BCE with Jerusalem as its capital.

In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great intervened in a struggle for the Hasmonean throne and captured Jerusalem, extending the influence of the Roman Republic over Judea. [141] Following a short invasion by Parthians, backing the rival Hasmonean rulers, Judea became a scene of struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian forces, eventually leading to the emergence of an Edomite named Herod.

A coin issued by the Jewish rebels in 68 CE. Obverse: "Shekel, Israel. Year 3". Reverse: "Jerusalem the Holy", in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet Half Shekel.jpg
A coin issued by the Jewish rebels in 68 CE. Obverse: "Shekel, Israel. Year 3". Reverse: "Jerusalem the Holy", in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet

As Rome became stronger, it installed Herod as a Jewish client king. Herod the Great, as he was known, devoted himself to developing and beautifying the city. He built walls, towers and palaces, and expanded the Temple Mount, buttressing the courtyard with blocks of stone weighing up to 100 tons. Under Herod, the area of the Temple Mount doubled in size. [128] [142] [143] Shortly after Herod's death, in 6 CE Judea came under direct Roman rule as the Iudaea Province, [144] although the Herodian dynasty through Agrippa II remained client kings of neighbouring territories until 96 CE. Roman rule over Jerusalem and the region was challenged in the First Jewish–Roman War, which ended with a Roman victory. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, and the entire city was destroyed in the war. The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus wrote that the city "was so thoroughly razed to the ground by those that demolished it to its foundations, that nothing was left that could ever persuade visitors that it had once been a place of habitation." [145] Roman rule was again challenged during the Bar Kokhba revolt, beginning in 132 CE and suppressed by the Romans in 135 CE.

Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem (David Roberts, 1850) Ercole de Roberti Destruction of Jerusalem Fighting Fleeing Marching Slaying Burning Chemical reactions b.jpg
Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem (David Roberts, 1850)
Jerusalem mural depicting the Cardo in Byzantine era OCJ VIW 20130109 101325.jpg
Jerusalem mural depicting the Cardo in Byzantine era

Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Emperor Hadrian combined Iudaea Province with neighboring provinces under the new name of Syria Palaestina , replacing the name of Judea. [146] The city was renamed Aelia Capitolina, [147] and rebuilt it in the style of a typical Roman town. Jews were prohibited from entering the city on pain of death, except for one day each year, during the holiday of Tisha B'Av. Taken together, these measures [148] [149] [150] (which also affected Jewish Christians) [151] essentially "secularized" the city. [152] The ban was maintained until the 7th century, [153] though Christians would soon be granted an exemption: during the 4th century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I ordered the construction of Christian holy sites in the city, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Burial remains from the Byzantine period are exclusively Christian, suggesting that the population of Jerusalem in Byzantine times probably consisted only of Christians. [154]

In the 5th century, the eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, ruled from the recently renamed Constantinople, maintained control of the city. Within the span of a few decades, Jerusalem shifted from Byzantine to Persian rule, then back to Roman-Byzantine dominion. Following Sassanid Khosrau II's early 7th century push through Syria, his generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin attacked Jerusalem (Persian : Dej Houdkh) aided by the Jews of Palaestina Prima, who had risen up against the Byzantines. [155]

In the Siege of Jerusalem of 614, after 21 days of relentless siege warfare, Jerusalem was captured. Byzantine chronicles relate that the Sassanids and Jews slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians in the city, many at the Mamilla Pool, [156] [157] and destroyed their monuments and churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This episode has been the subject of much debate between historians. [158] The conquered city would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius reconquered it in 629. [159]

Jerusalem reached a peak in size and population at the end of the Second Temple Period, when the city covered two km2 (0.77 square miles) and had a population of 200,000. [149] [160]

Early Muslim period

1455 painting of the Holy Land. Jerusalem is viewed from the west; the octagonal Dome of the Rock stands left of Al-Aqsa, shown as a church, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands on the left side of the picture. 1283 Descriptio Terrae Sanctae.jpg
1455 painting of the Holy Land. Jerusalem is viewed from the west; the octagonal Dome of the Rock stands left of Al-Aqsa, shown as a church, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands on the left side of the picture.

Byzantine Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab armies of Umar ibn al-Khattab in 638 CE. [161] Among the first Muslims, it was referred to as Madinat bayt al-Maqdis ("City of the Temple"), [162] a name restricted to the Temple Mount. The rest of the city "... was called Iliya, reflecting the Roman name given the city following the destruction of 70 CE: Aelia Capitolina". [163] Later the Temple Mount became known as al-Haram al-Sharif, "The Noble Sanctuary", while the city around it became known as Bayt al-Maqdis, [164] and later still, al-Quds al-Sharif "The Holy, Noble". The Islamization of Jerusalem began in the first year A.H. (623 CE), when Muslims were instructed to face the city while performing their daily prostrations and, according to Muslim religious tradition, Muhammad's night journey and ascension to heaven took place. After 13 years, the direction of prayer was changed to Mecca. [165] [166] In 638 CE the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem. [167] With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. [168] The Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab signed a treaty with Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem's Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule. [169] Christian-Arab tradition records that, when led to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites for Christians, the caliph Umar refused to pray in the church so that Muslims would not request conversion of the church to a mosque. [170] He prayed outside the church, where the Mosque of Umar (Omar) stands to this day, opposite the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. According to the Gaullic bishop Arculf, who lived in Jerusalem from 679 to 688, the Mosque of Umar was a rectangular wooden structure built over ruins which could accommodate 3,000 worshipers. [171]

When the Arab armies under Umar went to Bayt Al-Maqdes in 637 CE, they searched for the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque ("The Farthest Mosque") that was mentioned in Quran and Hadith according to Islamic beliefs. Contemporary Arabic and Hebrew sources say the site was full of rubbish, and that Arabs and Jews cleaned it. [172] The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik commissioned the construction of a shrine on the Temple Mount, now known as the Dome of the Rock, in the late 7th century. [173] Two of the city's most-distinguished Arab citizens of the 10th-century were Al-Muqaddasi, the geographer, and Al-Tamimi, the physician. Al-Muqaddasi writes that Abd al-Malik built the edifice on the Temple Mount in order to compete in grandeur with Jerusalem's monumental churches. [171]

Over the next four hundred years, Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control. [174] Jerusalem was captured in 1073 by the Seljuk Turkish commander Atsız. [175] After Atsız was killed, the Seljuk prince Tutush I granted the city to Artuk Bey, another Seljuk commander. After Artuk's death in 1091 his sons Sökmen and Ilghazi governed in the city up to 1098 when the Fatimids recaptured the city.

Medieval illustration of capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, 1099 1099jerusalem.jpg
Medieval illustration of capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, 1099

A messianic Karaite movement to gather in Jerusalem took place at the turn of the millennium, leading to a "Golden Age" of Karaite scholarship there, which was only terminated by the Crusades. [176]

Crusader/Ayyubid period

In 1099, the Fatimid ruler expelled the native Christian population before Jerusalem was besieged by the soldiers of the First Crusade. After taking the solidly defended city by assault, the Crusaders massacred most of its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants, and made it the capital of their Kingdom of Jerusalem. The city, which had been virtually emptied, was recolonized by a variegated inflow of Greeks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Georgians, Armenians, Syrians, Egyptians, Nestorians, Maronites, Jacobite Miaphysites, Copts and others, to block the return of the surviving Muslims and Jews. The north-eastern quarter was repopulated with Eastern Christians from the Transjordan. [177] As a result, by 1099 Jerusalem's population had climbed back to some 30,000. [178] [ failed verification ]

In 1187, the city was wrested from the Crusaders by Saladin who permitted Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city. [179] Under the terms of surrender, once ransomed, 60,000 Franks were expelled. The Eastern Christian populace was permitted to stay. [180] Under the Ayyubid dynasty of Saladin, a period of huge investment began in the construction of houses, markets, public baths, and pilgrim hostels as well as the establishment of religious endowments. However, for most of the 13th century, Jerusalem declined to the status of a village due to city's fall of strategic value and Ayyubid internecine struggles. [181]

From 1229 to 1244, Jerusalem peacefully reverted to Christian control as a result of a 1229 treaty agreed between the crusading Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and al-Kamil, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, that ended the Sixth Crusade. [182] [183] [184] [185] [186] The Ayyubids retained control of the Muslim holy places, and Arab sources suggest that Frederick was not permitted to restore Jerusalem's fortifications.

In 1244, Jerusalem was sacked by the Khwarezmian Tatars, who decimated the city's Christian population and drove out the Jews. [187] The Khwarezmian Tatars were driven out by the Ayyubids in 1247.

Mamluk period

From 1260 [188] to 1517, Jerusalem was ruled by the Mamluks. In the wider region and until around 1300, many clashes occurred between the Mamluks on one side, and the crusaders and the Mongols, on the other side. The area also suffered from many earthquakes and black plague. [189]

When Nachmanides visited in 1267 he found only two Jewish families, in a population of 2,000, 300 of whom were Christians, in the city. [190]

Ottoman period (16th–19th centuries)

1844 daguerreotype by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (the earliest photography of the city) Jerusalem 1844 Aqsa.jpg
1844 daguerreotype by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (the earliest photography of the city)
David's Citadel and the Ottoman walls Tower of David as seen from the Jaffa Gate.jpg
David's Citadel and the Ottoman walls
Ben-Zakai Synagogue in 1893 Ben Zakai.jpg
Ben-Zakai Synagogue in 1893
The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem - a new holy site established by British Protestants in the 19th century. In Front of the Garden Tomb.JPG
The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem – a new holy site established by British Protestants in the 19th century.

In 1517, Jerusalem and environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who generally remained in control until 1917. [179] Jerusalem enjoyed a prosperous period of renewal and peace under Suleiman the Magnificent—including the rebuilding of magnificent walls around the Old City. Throughout much of Ottoman rule, Jerusalem remained a provincial, if religiously important center, and did not straddle the main trade route between Damascus and Cairo. [191] The English reference book Modern history or the present state of all nations, written in 1744, stated that "Jerusalem is still reckoned the capital city of Palestine, though much fallen from its ancient grandeaur". [192]

The Ottomans brought many innovations: modern postal systems run by the various consulates and regular stagecoach and carriage services were among the first signs of modernization in the city. [193] In the mid 19th century, the Ottomans constructed the first paved road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, and by 1892 the railroad had reached the city. [193]

With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1831, foreign missions and consulates began to establish a foothold in the city. In 1836, Ibrahim Pasha allowed Jerusalem's Jewish residents to restore four major synagogues, among them the Hurva. [194] In the countrywide Peasants' Revolt, Qasim al-Ahmad led his forces from Nablus and attacked Jerusalem, aided by the Abu Ghosh clan, and entered the city on 31 May 1834. The Christians and Jews of Jerusalem were subjected to attacks. Ibrahim's Egyptian army routed Qasim's forces in Jerusalem the following month. [195]

Ottoman rule was reinstated in 1840, but many Egyptian Muslims remained in Jerusalem and Jews from Algiers and North Africa began to settle in the city in growing numbers. [194] In the 1840s and 1850s, the international powers began a tug-of-war in Palestine as they sought to extend their protection over the region's religious minorities, a struggle carried out mainly through consular representatives in Jerusalem. [196] According to the Prussian consul, the population in 1845 was 16,410, with 7,120 Jews, 5,000 Muslims, 3,390 Christians, 800 Turkish soldiers and 100 Europeans. [194] The volume of Christian pilgrims increased under the Ottomans, doubling the city's population around Easter time. [197]

In the 1860s, new neighborhoods began to develop outside the Old City walls to house pilgrims and relieve the intense overcrowding and poor sanitation inside the city. The Russian Compound and Mishkenot Sha'ananim were founded in 1860, [198] followed by many others that included Mahane Israel (1868), Nahalat Shiv'a (1869), German Colony (1872), Beit David (1873), Mea Shearim (1874), Shimon HaZadiq (1876), Beit Ya'aqov (1877), Abu Tor (1880s), American-Swedish Colony (1882), Yemin Moshe (1891), and Mamilla, Wadi al-Joz around the turn of the century. In 1867 an American Missionary reports an estimated population of Jerusalem of 'above' 15,000, with 4,000 to 5,000 Jews and 6,000 Muslims. Every year there were 5,000 to 6,000 Russian Christian Pilgrims. [199] In 1872 Jerusalem became the center of a special administrative district, independent of the Syria Vilayet and under the direct authority of Istanbul called the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem. [200]

Until the 1880s there were no formal orphanages in Jerusalem, as families generally took care of each other. In 1881 the Diskin Orphanage was founded in Jerusalem with the arrival of Jewish children orphaned by a Russian pogrom. Other orphanages founded in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 20th century were Zion Blumenthal Orphanage (1900) and General Israel Orphan's Home for Girls (1902). [201]

British Mandate (1917–1948)

Jerusalem on VE Day, 8 May 1945 VE day Jerusalem 1945.jpg
Jerusalem on VE Day, 8 May 1945

In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city. [202] In 1922, the League of Nations at the Conference of Lausanne entrusted the United Kingdom to administer Palestine, neighbouring Transjordan, and Iraq beyond it.

The British had to deal with a conflicting demand that was rooted in Ottoman rule. Agreements for the supply of water, electricity, and the construction of a tramway system—all under concessions granted by the Ottoman authorities—had been signed by the city of Jerusalem and a Greek citizen, Euripides Mavromatis, on 27 January 1914. Work under these concessions had not begun and, by the end of the war the British occupying forces refused to recognize their validity. Mavromatis claimed that his concessions overlapped with the Auja Concession that the government had awarded to Rutenberg in 1921 and that he had been deprived of his legal rights. The Mavromatis concession, in effect despite earlier British attempts to abolish it, covered Jerusalem and other localities (e.g., Bethlehem) within a radius of 20 km (12 miles) around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. [203]

From 1922 to 1948 the total population of the city rose from 52,000 to 165,000, comprised two-thirds of Jews and one-third of Arabs (Muslims and Christians). [204] Relations between Arab Christians and Muslims and the growing Jewish population in Jerusalem deteriorated, resulting in recurring unrest. In Jerusalem, in particular, Arab riots occurred in 1920 and in 1929. Under the British, new garden suburbs were built in the western and northern parts of the city [205] [206] and institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University were founded. [207]

Divided city: Jordanian and Israeli rule (1948–1967)

As the British Mandate for Palestine was expiring, the 1947 UN Partition Plan recommended "the creation of a special international regime in the City of Jerusalem, constituting it as a corpus separatum under the administration of the UN." [208] The international regime (which also included the city of Bethlehem) was to remain in force for a period of ten years, whereupon a referendum was to be held in which the residents were to decide the future regime of their city. [209] However, this plan was not implemented, as the 1948 war erupted, while the British withdrew from Palestine and Israel declared its independence. [210]

In contradiction to the Partition Plan, which envisioned a city separated from the Arab state and the Jewish state, Israel took control of the area which later would become West Jerusalem, along with major parts of the Arab territory allotted to the future Arab State; Jordan took control of East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank. The war led to displacement of Arab and Jewish populations in the city. The 1,500 residents of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City were expelled and a few hundred taken prisoner when the Arab Legion captured the quarter on 28 May. [211] [212] Arab residents of Katamon, Talbiya, and the German Colony were driven from their homes. By the time of the armistice that ended active fighting, Israel had control of 12 of Jerusalem's 15 Arab residential quarters. An estimated minimum of 30,000 people had become refugees. [213] [214]

Israeli policemen meet a Jordanian Legionnaire near the Mandelbaum Gate (circa 1950) Mandelbaum Gate Jerusalem.jpg
Israeli policemen meet a Jordanian Legionnaire near the Mandelbaum Gate (circa 1950)

The war of 1948 resulted in the division of Jerusalem, so that the old walled city lay entirely on the Jordanian side of the line. A no-man's land between East and West Jerusalem came into being in November 1948: Moshe Dayan, commander of the Israeli forces in Jerusalem, met with his Jordanian counterpart Abdullah el-Tell in a deserted house in Jerusalem's Musrara neighborhood and marked out their respective positions: Israel's position in red and Jordan's in green. This rough map, which was not meant as an official one, became the final line in the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which divided the city and left Mount Scopus as an Israeli exclave inside East Jerusalem. [215] Barbed wire and concrete barriers ran down the center of the city, passing close by Jaffa Gate on the western side of the old walled city, and a crossing point was established at Mandelbaum Gate slightly to the north of the old walled city. Military skirmishes frequently threatened the ceasefire.

After the establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem was declared its capital city. [216] Jordan formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1950, subjecting it to Jordanian law, and in 1953 declared it the "second capital" of Jordan. [210] [217] [218] Only the United Kingdom and Pakistan formally recognized such annexation, which, in regard to Jerusalem, was on a de facto basis. [219] Some scholars argue that the view that Pakistan recognized Jordan's annexation is dubious. [220] [221]

King Hussein of Jordan flying over the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem when it was under Jordanian control, 1965 King Hussein flying over Temple Mount when it was under Jordanian control.jpg
King Hussein of Jordan flying over the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem when it was under Jordanian control, 1965

After 1948, since the old walled city in its entirety was to the east of the armistice line, Jordan was able to take control of all the holy places therein. While Muslim holy sites were maintained and renovated, [222] contrary to the terms of the armistice agreement, Jews were denied access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were destroyed or desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites, [223] and restrictions were imposed on the Christian population that led many to leave the city. Of the 58 synagogues in the Old City, half were either razed or converted to stables and hen-houses over the course of the next 19 years, including the Hurva and the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue. The 3,000-year-old [224] Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery was desecrated, with gravestones used to build roads, latrines and Jordanian army fortifications. 38,000 graves in the Jewish Cemetery were destroyed, and Jews were forbidden from being buried there. [225] [226] The Western Wall was transformed into an exclusively Muslim holy site associated with al-Buraq . [227] Israeli authorities neglected to protect the tombs in the Muslim Mamilla Cemetery in West Jerusalem, which contains the remains of figures from the early Islamic period, [228] facilitating the creation of a parking lot and public lavatories in 1964. [229] Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were demolished and replaced by modern structures during the Jordanian occupation. [230] During this period, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations. [231]

During the 1948 war, the Jewish residents of Eastern Jerusalem were expelled by Jordan's Arab Legion. Jordan allowed Arab Palestinian refugees from the war to settle in the vacated Jewish Quarter, which became known as Harat al-Sharaf. [232] In 1966 the Jordanian authorities relocated 500 of them to the Shua'fat refugee camp as part of plans to turn the Jewish quarter into a public park. [233] [234]

Israeli rule (1967–present)

Map of East Jerusalem (2010) EastJerusalemMap-en.svg
Map of East Jerusalem (2010)

In 1967, despite Israeli pleas that Jordan remain neutral during the Six-Day War, Jordan, which had concluded a defense agreement with Egypt on 30 May 1967, attacked Israeli-held West Jerusalem on the war's second day. After hand-to-hand fighting between Israeli and Jordanian soldiers on the Temple Mount, the Israel Defense Forces captured East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank. On 27 June 1967, three weeks after the war ended, in the reunification of Jerusalem, Israel extended its law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem, including the city's Christian and Muslim holy sites, along with some nearby West Bank territory which comprised 28 Palestinian villages, incorporating it into the Jerusalem Municipality, [235] [236] although it carefully avoided using the term annexation. On 10 July, Foreign Minister Abba Eban explained to the UN Secretary General: "The term 'annexation' which was used by supporters of the vote is not accurate. The steps that were taken [by Israel] relate to the integration of Jerusalem in administrative and municipal areas, and served as a legal basis for the protection of the holy places of Jerusalem." [237] Israel conducted a census of Arab residents in the areas annexed. Residents were given permanent residency status and the option of applying for Israeli citizenship. Since 1967, new Jewish residential areas have mushroomed in the eastern sector, while no new Palestinian neighbourhoods have been created. [238]

Jewish and Christian access to the holy sites inside the old walled city was restored. Israel left the Temple Mount under the jurisdiction of an Islamic waqf , but opened the Western Wall to Jewish access. The Moroccan Quarter, which was located adjacent to the Western Wall, was evacuated and razed [239] to make way for a plaza for those visiting the wall. [240] On 18 April 1968, an expropriation order by the Israeli Ministry of Finance more than doubled the size of the Jewish Quarter, evicting its Arab residents and seizing over 700 buildings of which 105 belonged to Jewish inhabitants prior to the Jordanian occupation of the city.[ citation needed ] The order designated these areas for public use, but they were intended for Jews alone. [241] The government offered 200 Jordanian dinars to each displaced Arab family.

After the Six-Day War the population of Jerusalem increased by 196%. The Jewish population grew by 155%, while the Arab population grew by 314%. The proportion of the Jewish population fell from 74% in 1967 to 72% in 1980, to 68% in 2000, and to 64% in 2010. [242] Israeli Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon proposed building a ring of Jewish neighborhoods around the city's eastern edges. The plan was intended to make East Jerusalem more Jewish and prevent it from becoming part of an urban Palestinian bloc stretching from Bethlehem to Ramallah. On 2 October 1977, the Israeli cabinet approved the plan, and seven neighborhoods were subsequently built on the city's eastern edges. They became known as the Ring Neighborhoods. Other Jewish neighborhoods were built within East Jerusalem, and Israeli Jews also settled in Arab neighborhoods. [243] [244]

The annexation of East Jerusalem was met with international criticism. The Israeli Foreign Ministry disputes that the annexation of Jerusalem was a violation of international law. [245] [246] The final status of Jerusalem has been one of the most important areas of discord between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators for peace. Areas of discord have included whether the Palestinian flag can be raised over areas of Palestinian custodianship and the specificity of Israeli and Palestinian territorial borders. [247]

Political status

Prior to the creation of the State of Israel, Jerusalem served as the administrative capital of Mandatory Palestine. [248]

From 1949 until 1967, West Jerusalem served as Israel's capital, but was not recognized as such internationally because UN General Assembly Resolution 194 envisaged Jerusalem as an international city. As a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, the whole of Jerusalem came under Israeli control. On 27 June 1967, the government of Levi Eshkol extended Israeli law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem, but agreed that administration of the Temple Mount compound would be maintained by the Jordanian waqf, under the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Endowments. [249]

In 1988, Israel ordered the closure of Orient House, home of the Arab Studies Society, but also the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for security reasons. The building reopened in 1992 as a Palestinian guesthouse. [250] [251] The Oslo Accords stated that the final status of Jerusalem would be determined by negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. The accords banned any official Palestinian presence in the city until a final peace agreement, but provided for the opening of a Palestinian trade office in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority regards East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. [252] [253] President Mahmoud Abbas has said that any agreement that did not include East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine would be unacceptable. [254] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has similarly stated that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel. Due to its proximity to the city, especially the Temple Mount, Abu Dis, a Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem, has been proposed as the future capital of a Palestinian state by Israel. Israel has not incorporated Abu Dis within its security wall around Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority has built a possible future parliament building for the Palestinian Legislative Council in the town, and its Jerusalem Affairs Offices are all located in Abu Dis. [255]

International status

While the international community regards East Jerusalem, including the entire Old City, as part of the occupied Palestinian territories, neither part, West or East Jerusalem, is recognized as part of the territory of Israel or the State of Palestine. [256] [257] [258] [259] Under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1947, Jerusalem was envisaged to become a corpus separatum administered by the United Nations. In the war of 1948, the western part of the city was occupied by forces of the nascent state of Israel, while the eastern part was occupied by Jordan. The international community largely considers the legal status of Jerusalem to derive from the partition plan, and correspondingly refuses to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the city. [260]

Status under Israeli rule

Supreme Court of Israel Israel Supreme Court.jpg
Supreme Court of Israel

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel extended its jurisdiction and administration over East Jerusalem, establishing new municipal borders.

In 2010, Israel approved legislation giving Jerusalem the highest national priority status in Israel. The law prioritized construction throughout the city, and offered grants and tax benefits to residents to make housing, infrastructure, education, employment, business, tourism, and cultural events more affordable. Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said that the bill sent "a clear, unequivocal political message that Jerusalem will not be divided", and that "all those within the Palestinian and international community who expect the current Israeli government to accept any demands regarding Israel's sovereignty over its capital are mistaken and misleading". [261]

The status of the city, and especially its holy places, remains a core issue in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The Israeli government has approved building plans in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City [262] in order to expand the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, while some Islamic leaders have made claims that Jews have no historical connection to Jerusalem, alleging that the 2,500-year-old Western Wall was constructed as part of a mosque. [263] [264] Palestinians regard Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, [265] and the city's borders have been the subject of bilateral talks. A team of experts assembled by the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000 concluded that the city must be divided, since Israel had failed to achieve any of its national aims there. [266] However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2014 that "Jerusalem will never be divided". [267] A poll conducted in June 2013 found that 74% of Israeli Jews reject the idea of a Palestinian capital in any portion of Jerusalem, though 72% of the public regarded it as a divided city. [268] A poll conducted by Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and American Pechter Middle East Polls for the Council on Foreign Relations, among East Jerusalem Arab residents in 2011 revealed that 39% of East Jerusalem Arab residents would prefer Israeli citizenship contrary to 31% who opted for Palestinian citizenship. According to the poll, 40% of Palestinian residents would prefer to leave their neighborhoods if they would be placed under Palestinian rule. [269]

Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Israeli Foreign Ministry building Hutz.JPG
Israeli Foreign Ministry building

On 5 December 1949, Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel's "eternal" and "sacred" capital, and eight days later specified that only the war had "compelled" the Israeli leadership "to establish the seat of Government in Tel Aviv", while "for the State of Israel there has always been and always will be one capital only – Jerusalem the Eternal", and that after the war, efforts had been ongoing for creating the conditions for "the Knesset... returning to Jerusalem." [270] This indeed took place, and since the beginning of 1950 all branches of the Israeli governmentlegislative, judicial, and executive—have resided there, except for the Ministry of Defense, which is located at HaKirya in Tel Aviv. [271] [272] At the time of Ben Gurion's proclamations and the ensuing Knesset vote of 24 January 1950, [272] Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan, and thus the proclamation only applied to West Jerusalem.

In July 1980, Israel passed the Jerusalem Law as Basic Law. The law declared Jerusalem the "complete and united" capital of Israel. [273] The Jerusalem Law was condemned by the international community, which did not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 478 on 20 August 1980, which declared that the Jerusalem Law is "a violation of international law", is "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith". Member states were called upon to withdraw their diplomatic representation from Jerusalem. [274] Following the resolution, 22 of the 24 countries that previously had their embassy in (West) Jerusalem relocated them in Tel Aviv, where many embassies already resided prior to Resolution 478. Costa Rica and El Salvador followed in 2006. [275] There are two embassies—United States and Guatemala—and two consulates located within the city limits of Jerusalem, and two Latin American states maintain embassies in the Jerusalem District town of Mevaseret Zion (Bolivia and Paraguay). [276] [277] There are a number of consulates-general located in Jerusalem, which work primarily either with Israel, or the Palestinian authorities.

In 1995, the United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which required, subject to conditions, that its embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. [278] On 6 December 2017 U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announced his intention to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, reversing decades of United States policy on the issue. [279] [280] The move was criticized by many nations. [281] A resolution condemning the US decision was supported by all the 14 other members of the UN Security Council, but was vetoed by the US on 18 December 2017, [282] and a subsequent resolution condemning the US decision was passed in the United Nations General Assembly. [283] [284] [285] [286] On 14 May 2018, the United States officially moved the location of its embassy to Jerusalem, transforming its Tel Aviv location into a consulate. Due to the general lack of international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, some non-Israeli media outlets use Tel Aviv as a metonym for Israel. [287] [288] [289] [290]

In April 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced it viewed Western Jerusalem as Israel's capital in the context of UN-approved principles which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. [291] [292] [293] On 15 December 2018, Australia officially recognized West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but said their embassy in Tel Aviv would stay until a two-state resolution was settled. [294]

Government precinct and national institutions

The Knesset building in Givat Ram hknst.jpg
The Knesset building in Givat Ram

Many national institutions of Israel are located in Kiryat HaMemshala in Givat Ram in Jerusalem as a part of the Kiryat HaLeom project which is intended to create a large district that will house most government agencies and national cultural institutions. Some government buildings are located in Kiryat Menachem Begin. The city is home to the Knesset, [295] the Supreme Court, [296] the Bank of Israel, the National Headquarters of the Israel Police, the official residences of the President and Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and all ministries except for the Ministry of Defense (which is located in central Tel Aviv's HaKirya district) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (which is located in Rishon LeZion, in the wider Tel Aviv metropolitan area, near Beit Dagan).

Jerusalem as capital of Palestine

Orient House in East Jerusalem that served as the headquarters of the PLO in the 1980s and 1990s. It was closed by Israel in 2001, two days after the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing. Orient House.jpg
Orient House in East Jerusalem that served as the headquarters of the PLO in the 1980s and 1990s. It was closed by Israel in 2001, two days after the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing.

The Palestinian National Authority views East Jerusalem as occupied territory according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. The Palestinian Authority claims Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif, as the capital of the State of Palestine, [265] The PLO claims that West Jerusalem is also subject to permanent status negotiations. However, it has stated that it would be willing to consider alternative solutions, such as making Jerusalem an open city. [297]

The PLO's position is that East Jerusalem, as defined by the pre-1967 municipal boundaries, shall be the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel, with each state enjoying full sovereignty over its respective part of the city and with its own municipality. A joint development council would be responsible for coordinated development. [298]

Some states, such as Russia [299] and China, [300] recognize the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 58/292 affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over East Jerusalem. [301]

Municipal administration

The Jerusalem City Council is a body of 31 elected members headed by the mayor, who serves a five-year term and appoints eight deputies. The former mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, was elected in 2003. [302] In the November 2008 city elections, Nir Barkat was elected. In November 2018, Moshe Lion was elected mayor. [303]

Apart from the mayor and his deputies, City Council members receive no salaries and work on a voluntary basis. The longest-serving Jerusalem mayor was Teddy Kollek, who spent 28 years—-six consecutive terms-—in office. Most of the meetings of the Jerusalem City Council are private, but each month, it holds a session that is open to the public. [302] Within the city council, religious political parties form an especially powerful faction, accounting for the majority of its seats. [304] The headquarters of the Jerusalem Municipality and the mayor's office are at Safra Square (Kikar Safra) on Jaffa Road. The municipal complex, comprising two modern buildings and ten renovated historic buildings surrounding a large plaza, opened in 1993 when it moved from the old town hall building built by the Mandate authorities. [305] The city falls under the Jerusalem District, with Jerusalem as the district's capital. 37% of the population is Palestinian, but only 10% of tax revenues are allocated for them. In East Jerusalem, 52% of the land is excluded from development, 35% designated for Jewish settlements, and 13% for Palestinian use, almost all of which is already built on. [238]


Panoramica de Jerusalen desde el Monte de los Olivos.jpg
Panorama of the Temple Mount, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dome of the Rock, from the Mount of Olives
Astronauts' view of Jerusalem Jerusalem, Israel.JPG
Astronauts' view of Jerusalem
Sunset aerial photograph of the Mount of Olives Israel-2013-Aerial-Mount of Olives.jpg
Sunset aerial photograph of the Mount of Olives

Jerusalem is situated on the southern spur of a plateau in the Judaean Mountains, which include the Mount of Olives (East) and Mount Scopus (North East). The elevation of the Old City is approximately 760 m (2,490 ft). [306] The whole of Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys and dry riverbeds ( wadis ). The Kidron, Hinnom, and Tyropoeon Valleys intersect in an area just south of the Old City of Jerusalem. [307] The Kidron Valley runs to the east of the Old City and separates the Mount of Olives from the city proper. Along the southern side of old Jerusalem is the Valley of Hinnom, a steep ravine associated in biblical eschatology with the concept of Gehenna or Hell. [308] The Tyropoeon Valley commenced in the northwest near the Damascus Gate, ran south-southeasterly through the center of the Old City down to the Pool of Siloam, and divided the lower part into two hills, the Temple Mount to the east, and the rest of the city to the west (the lower and the upper cities described by Josephus). Today, this valley is hidden by debris that has accumulated over the centuries. [307] In biblical times, Jerusalem was surrounded by forests of almond, olive and pine trees. Over centuries of warfare and neglect, these forests were destroyed. Farmers in the Jerusalem region thus built stone terraces along the slopes to hold back the soil, a feature still very much in evidence in the Jerusalem landscape.[ citation needed ]

Water supply has always been a major problem in Jerusalem, as attested to by the intricate network of ancient aqueducts, tunnels, pools and cisterns found in the city. [309]

Jerusalem is 60 kilometers (37 mi) [310] east of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. On the opposite side of the city, approximately 35 kilometers (22 mi) [311] away, is the Dead Sea, the lowest body of water on Earth. Neighboring cities and towns include Bethlehem and Beit Jala to the south, Abu Dis and Ma'ale Adumim to the east, Mevaseret Zion to the west, and Ramallah and Giv'at Ze'ev to the north. [312] [313] [314]

Mount Herzl, at the western side of the city near the Jerusalem Forest, serves as the national cemetery of Israel.


Snow visible on roofs in the Old City of Jerusalem h`yr h`tyqh byrvSHlym blbn.jpg
Snow visible on roofs in the Old City of Jerusalem

The city is characterized by a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), with hot, dry summers, and mild, wet winters. Snow flurries usually occur once or twice a winter, although the city experiences heavy snowfall every three to four years, on average, with short-lived accumulation.

January is the coldest month of the year, with an average temperature of 9.1 °C (48.4 °F); July and August are the hottest months, with an average temperature of 24.2 °C (75.6 °F), and the summer months are usually rainless. The average annual precipitation is around 537 mm (21 in), with rain occurring almost entirely between October and May. [315] Snowfall is rare, and large snowfalls are even more rare. [316] [317] Jerusalem received over 30 centimetres (12 in) of snow on 13 December 2013, which nearly paralyzed the city. [316] [317] A day in Jerusalem has on average, 9.3 sunshine hours. With summers averaging similar temperatures as the coastline, the maritime influence from the Mediterranean Sea is strong, in particular given that Jerusalem is located on a similar latitude as scorching hot deserts not far to its east.

The highest recorded temperature in Jerusalem was 44.4 °C (111.9 °F) on 28 and 30 August 1881, and the lowest temperature recorded was −6.7 °C (19.9 °F) on 25 January 1907.

Most of the air pollution in Jerusalem comes from vehicular traffic. [318] Many main streets in Jerusalem were not built to accommodate such a large volume of traffic, leading to traffic congestion and more carbon monoxide released into the air. Industrial pollution inside the city is sparse, but emissions from factories on the Israeli Mediterranean coast can travel eastward and settle over the city. [318] [319]

Climate data for Jerusalem
Record high °C (°F)23.4
Average high °C (°F)11.8
Daily mean °C (°F)9.8
Average low °C (°F)6.4
Record low °C (°F)−3.4
Average rainfall mm (inches)133.2
Average rainy days12.911.
Average relative humidity (%)61595239353740404042485646
Mean monthly sunshine hours 192.9243.6226.3266.6331.7381.0384.4365.8309.0275.9228.0192.23,397.4
Source 1: Israel Meteorological Service [320] [321] [322] [323]
Source 2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990) [324]


Demographic history

Jerusalem's population size and composition has shifted many times over its 5,000 year history. Since medieval times, the Old City of Jerusalem has been divided into Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian quarters.

Most population data before 1905 is based on estimates, often from foreign travellers or organisations, since previous census data usually covered wider areas such as the Jerusalem District. [325] These estimates suggest that since the end of the Crusades, Muslims formed the largest group in Jerusalem until the mid-nineteenth century.

Between 1838 and 1876, a number of estimates exist which conflict as to whether Jews or Muslims were the largest group during this period, and between 1882 and 1922 estimates conflict as to exactly when Jews became an absolute majority of the population.

Current demographics

Guesthouse in Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, on a hill directly across from Mount Zion Mishkenot Sha'ananim 1.jpg
Guesthouse in Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, on a hill directly across from Mount Zion
Sheikh Jarrah, a predominantly Arab neighborhood on the road to Mount Scopus Jerusalem vista.jpg
Sheikh Jarrah, a predominantly Arab neighborhood on the road to Mount Scopus
Sign in Armenian in the Armenian Quarter Armenian Patriarchate Road sign in Armenian, Jerusalem.jpg
Sign in Armenian in the Armenian Quarter

In December 2007, Jerusalem had a population of 747,600–63.7% were Jewish, 33.1% Muslim, and 2% Christian. [326] At the end of 2005, the population density was 5,750.4/km2 (14,893/sq mi). [327] [328] According to a study published in 2000, the percentage of Jews in the city's population had been decreasing; this was attributed to a higher Muslim birth rate, and Jewish residents leaving. The study also found that about nine percent of the Old City's 32,488 people were Jews. [329] Of the Jewish population, 200,000 live in East Jerusalem settlements which are considered illegal under international law. [330]

In 2005, 2,850 new immigrants settled in Jerusalem, mostly from the United States, France and the former Soviet Union. In terms of the local population, the number of outgoing residents exceeds the number of incoming residents. In 2005, 16,000 left Jerusalem and only 10,000 moved in. [327] Nevertheless, the population of Jerusalem continues to rise due to the high birth rate, especially in the Haredi Jewish and Arab communities. Consequently, the total fertility rate in Jerusalem (4.02) is higher than in Tel Aviv (1.98) and well above the national average of 2.90. The average size of Jerusalem's 180,000 households is 3.8 people. [327]

In 2005, the total population grew by 13,000 (1.8%)—similar to the Israeli national average, but the religious and ethnic composition is shifting. While 31% of the Jewish population is made up of children below the age fifteen, the figure for the Arab population is 42%. [327] This would seem to corroborate the observation that the percentage of Jews in Jerusalem has declined over the past four decades. In 1967, Jews accounted for 74 percent of the population, while the figure for 2006 is down nine percent. [331] Possible factors are the high cost of housing, fewer job opportunities and the increasingly religious character of the city, although proportionally, young Haredim are leaving in higher numbers.[ citation needed ] The percentage of secular Jews, or those who 'wear their faith lightly' is dropping, with some 20,000 leaving the city over the past seven years (2012). They now number 31% of the population, the same percentage as the rising Haredi population. [332] Many move to the suburbs and coastal cities in search of cheaper housing and a more secular lifestyle. [333] In 2009, the percentage of Haredim in the city was increasing. As of 2009, out of 150,100 schoolchildren, 59,900 or 40% are in state-run secular and National Religious schools, while 90,200 or 60% are in Haredi schools. This correlates with the high number of children in Haredi families. [334] [335]

While some Israelis avoid Jerusalem for its relative lack of development and religious and political tensions, the city has attracted Palestinians, offering more jobs and opportunity than any city in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials have encouraged Arabs over the years to stay in the city to maintain their claim. [336] [337] Palestinians are attracted to the access to jobs, healthcare, social security, other benefits, and quality of life Israel provides to Jerusalem residents. [338] Arab residents of Jerusalem who choose not to have Israeli citizenship are granted an Israeli identity card that allows them to pass through checkpoints with relative ease and to travel throughout Israel, making it easier to find work. Residents also are entitled to the subsidized healthcare and social security benefits Israel provides its citizens, and have the right to vote in municipal elections. Arabs in Jerusalem can send their children to Israeli-run schools, although not every neighborhood has one, and universities. Israeli doctors and highly regarded hospitals such as Hadassah Medical Center are available to residents. [339]

Demographics and the Jewish-Arab population divide play a major role in the dispute over Jerusalem. In 1998, the Jerusalem Development Authority proposed expanding city limits to the west to include more areas heavily populated with Jews. [21]

Within the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the Jewish birthrate and a steady decrease in the Arab birthrate. In May 2012, it was reported that the Jewish birthrate had overtaken the Arab birthrate. The city's birthrate stands about 4.2 children per Jewish family and 3.9 children per Arab family. [340] [341] In addition, increasing numbers of Jewish immigrants chose to settle in Jerusalem. In the last few years, thousands of Palestinians have moved to previously fully Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, built after the 1967 Six-Day War. In 2007, 1,300 Palestinians lived in the previously exclusively Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev and constituted three percent of the population in Neve Ya'akov. In the French Hill neighborhood, Palestinians today constitute one-sixth of the overall population. [342]

At the end of 2008, the population of East Jerusalem was 456,300, comprising 60% of Jerusalem's residents. Of these, 195,500 (43%) were Jews, (comprising 40% of the Jewish population of Jerusalem as a whole), and 260,800 (57%) were Muslim (comprising 98% of the Muslim population of Jerusalem). [343] In 2008, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported the number of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem was 208,000 according to a recently completed census. [344]

Jerusalem's Jewish population is overwhelmingly religious. Only 21% of Jewish residents are secular. In addition, Haredi Jews comprise 30% of the city's adult Jewish population. In a phenomenon seen rarely around the world, the percentage of Jewish men who work, 47%, is exceeded by the percentage of Jewish women who work, 50%. [345] The young and less religious continue to leave according to a 2016 Central Bureau of Statistics report which noted 6,740 people left. The opening of high speed rail transit to Tel Aviv in 2018 and the New Jerusalem Gateway Business District [346] currently under construction is designed to alter business, tourism, and hopefully reverse the population exodus. [347]

Jerusalem had a population of 804,400 in 2011, of which Jews comprised 499,400 (62.1%), Muslims 281,100 (34.9%), Christians 14,700 (1.8%), and 9,000 (1.1%) were not classified by religion. [22]

Jerusalem had a population of 882,700 in 2016, of which Jews comprised 536,600 (60.8%), Muslims 319,800 (36.2%), Christians 15,800 (1.8%), and 10,300 unclassified (1.2%). [22]

According to Peace Now, approvals for building in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem have expanded by 60% since Trump became U.S. president in 2017. [348] Since 1991, Palestinians who make up the majority of the residents in the area have only received 30% of the building permits. [349]

Urban planning issues

Critics of efforts to promote a Jewish majority in Jerusalem say that government planning policies are motivated by demographic considerations and seek to limit Arab construction while promoting Jewish construction. [350] According to a World Bank report, the number of recorded building violations between 1996 and 2000 was four and half times higher in Jewish neighborhoods but four times fewer demolition orders were issued in West Jerusalem than in East Jerusalem; Arabs in Jerusalem were less likely to receive construction permits than Jews, and "the authorities are much more likely to take action against Palestinian violators" than Jewish violators of the permit process. [351] In recent years, private Jewish foundations have received permission from the government to develop projects on disputed lands, such as the City of David archaeological park in the 60% Arab neighborhood of Silwan (adjacent to the Old City), [352] and the Museum of Tolerance on Mamilla Cemetery (adjacent to Zion Square). [351] [353]

Religious significance

Jerusalem has been sacred to Judaism for roughly 3000 years, to Christianity for around 2000 years, and to Islam for approximately 1400 years. The 2000 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem lists 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and 73 mosques within the city. [354] Despite efforts to maintain peaceful religious coexistence, some sites, such as the Temple Mount, have been a continuous source of friction and controversy.

Jerusalem has been sacred to the Jews since King David proclaimed it his capital in the 10th century BCE. [note 5] Jerusalem was the site of Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple. [27] Although not mentioned in the Torah / Pentateuch, [355] it is mentioned in the Bible 632 times. Today, the Western Wall, a remnant of the wall surrounding the Second Temple, is a Jewish holy site second only to the "Holy of Holies" on the Temple Mount itself. [356] Synagogues around the world are traditionally built with the Holy Ark facing Jerusalem, [357] and Arks within Jerusalem face the Holy of Holies. [358] As prescribed in the Mishna and codified in the Shulchan Aruch , daily prayers are recited while facing towards Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Many Jews have "Mizrach" plaques hung on a wall of their homes to indicate the direction of prayer. [358] [359]

Christianity reveres Jerusalem for its Old Testament history, and also for its significance in the life of Jesus. According to the New Testament, Jesus was brought to Jerusalem soon after his birth [360] and later in his life cleansed the Second Temple. [361] The Cenacle, believed to be the site of Jesus' Last Supper, is located on Mount Zion in the same building that houses the Tomb of King David. [362] [363] Another prominent Christian site in Jerusalem is Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion. The Gospel of John describes it as being located outside Jerusalem, [364] but recent archaeological evidence suggests Golgotha is a short distance from the Old City walls, within the present-day confines of the city. [365] The land occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is considered one of the top candidates for Golgotha and thus has been a Christian pilgrimage site for the past 2000 years. [365] [366] [367]

Jerusalem is the third-holiest city in Sunni Islam. [34] For approximately a year, before it was permanently switched to the Kaaba in Mecca, the qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims was Jerusalem. [368] [369] The city's lasting place in Islam, however, is primarily due to Muhammad's Night of Ascension (c. CE 620). Muslims believe Muhammad was miraculously transported one night from Mecca to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, whereupon he ascended to Heaven to meet previous prophets of Islam. [370] [371] [372] The first verse in the Qur'an's Surat al-Isra notes the destination of Muhammad's journey as al-Aqsa (the farthest) mosque, [373] [374] in reference to the location in Jerusalem. The hadith, the recorded sayings of the Prophet Mohammad, name Jerusalem as the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. [375] The al-Aqsa Mosque, derived from the name mentioned in the Qur'an, was built on the Temple Mount under the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid to commemorate the place from which Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven. [376]


Bank of Israel PikiWiki Israel 19135 Israel Bank in Jerusalem.JPG
Bank of Israel

Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa and Gaza. [377] Jerusalem's religious and cultural landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City, [327] In 2010, Jerusalem was named the top leisure travel city in Africa and the Middle East by Travel + Leisure magazine. [378] in 2013, 75% of the 3.5 million tourists to Israel visited Jerusalem. [379]

Har Hotzvim high-tech park Hotzvimview.jpg
Har Hotzvim high-tech park

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the national government has remained a major player in Jerusalem's economy. The government, centered in Jerusalem, generates a large number of jobs, and offers subsidies and incentives for new business initiatives and start-ups. [377] Although Tel Aviv remains Israel's financial center, a growing number of high tech companies are moving to Jerusalem, providing 12,000 jobs in 2006. [380] Northern Jerusalem's Har Hotzvim industrial park and the Jerusalem Technology Park in south Jerusalem are home to large Research and Development centers of international tech companies, among them Intel, Cisco, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, IBM, Mobileye, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and more. [381] In April 2015, Time Magazine picked Jerusalem as one of the five emerging tech hubs in the world, proclaiming that "The city has become a flourishing center for biomed, cleantech, Internet/mobile startups, accelerators, investors and supporting service providers." [382]

Mamilla Mall adorned with upscale shops stands just outside the Old City Walls. Jerusalem Israel, Jerusalem - Shopping de Rua (5172398236).jpg
Mamilla Mall adorned with upscale shops stands just outside the Old City Walls.

Higher than average percentages are employed in education (17.9% vs. 12.7%); health and welfare (12.6% vs. 10.7%); community and social services (6.4% vs. 4.7%); hotels and restaurants (6.1% vs. 4.7%); and public administration (8.2% vs. 4.7%). [383] During the British Mandate, a law was passed requiring all buildings to be constructed of Jerusalem stone in order to preserve the unique historic and aesthetic character of the city. [206] Complementing this building code, which is still in force, is the discouragement of heavy industry in Jerusalem; only about 2.2% of Jerusalem's land is zoned for "industry and infrastructure." By comparison, the percentage of land in Tel Aviv zoned for industry and infrastructure is twice as high, and in Haifa, seven times as high. [327] Only 8.5% of the Jerusalem District work force is employed in the manufacturing sector, which is half the national average (15.8%).

Although many statistics indicate economic growth in the city, since 1967, East Jerusalem has lagged behind the development of West Jerusalem. [377] Nevertheless, the percentage of households with employed persons is higher for Arab households (76.1%) than for Jewish households (66.8%). The unemployment rate in Jerusalem (8.3%) is slightly better than the national average (9.0%), although the civilian labor force accounted for less than half of all persons fifteen years or older—lower in comparison to that of Tel Aviv (58.0%) and Haifa (52.4%). [327] Poverty remains a problem in the city as 37% of the families in Jerusalem lived in 2011 below the poverty line. According to a report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), 78% of Arabs in Jerusalem lived in poverty in 2012, up from 64% in 2006. While the ACRI attributes the increase to the lack of employment opportunities, infrastructure and a worsening educational system, Ir Amim blames the legal status of Palestinians in Jerusalem. [384]

High-rise construction

Jerusalem has traditionally had a low-rise skyline. About 18 tall buildings were built at different times in the downtown area when there was no clear policy over the matter. One of them, Holyland Tower 1, Jerusalem's tallest building, is a skyscraper by international standards, rising 32 stories. Holyland Tower 2, which has been approved for construction, will reach the same height. [385] [386]

A new master plan for the city will see many high-rise buildings, including skyscrapers, built in certain, designated areas of downtown Jerusalem. Under the plan, towers will line Jaffa Road and King George Street. One of the proposed towers along King George Street, the Migdal Merkaz HaYekum, is planned as a 65-story building, which would make it one of the tallest buildings in Israel. At the entrance to the city, near the Jerusalem Chords Bridge and the Central Bus Station, twelve towers rising between 24 and 33 stories will be built, as part of a complex that will also include an open square and an underground train station serving a new express line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and will be connected by bridges and tunnels. Eleven of the skyscrapers will be either office or apartment buildings, and one will be a 2,000-room hotel. The complex is expected to attract many businesses from Tel Aviv, and become the city's main business hub. In addition, a complex for the city's courts and the prosecutor's office will be built, as well as new buildings for Central Zionist Archives and Israel State Archives. [387] [388] [389] The skyscrapers built throughout the city are expected to contain public space, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, and it has been speculated that this may lead to a revitalization of downtown Jerusalem. [390] [391] In August 2015, the city council approved construction of a 344-foot pyramid-shaped skyscraper designed by Daniel Libeskind and Yigal Levi, in place of a rejected previous design by Libeskind; it is set to break ground by 2019. [392]


Jerusalem Chords Bridge Jerusalem Chords Bridge.JPG
Jerusalem Chords Bridge

Jerusalem is served by highly developed communication infrastructures, making it a leading logistics hub for Israel.

The Jerusalem Central Bus Station, located on Jaffa Road, is the busiest bus station in Israel. It is served by Egged Bus Cooperative, which is the second-largest bus company in the world, [393] The Dan serves the Bnei Brak-Jerusalem route along with Egged, and Superbus serves the routes between Jerusalem, Modi'in Illit, and Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut. The companies operate from Jerusalem Central Bus Station. Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and routes between Jerusalem and locations in the West Bank are served by the East Jerusalem Central Bus Station, a transportation hub located near the Old City's Damascus Gate. The Jerusalem Light Rail initiated service in August 2011. According to plans, the first rail line will be capable of transporting an estimated 200,000 people daily, and has 23 stops. The route is from Pisgat Ze'ev in the north via the Old City and city center to Mt. Herzl in the south.

Light Rail tram on Jaffa Road Jerusalem Light Rail in Zion Square on A Rainy morning - November 2011.jpg
Light Rail tram on Jaffa Road

Another work in progress [394] is a new high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which became partially operational in 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2019. [395] Its terminus will be a new underground station (80 m (262.47 ft) deep) serving the International Convention Center and the Central Bus Station, [396] and is planned to be extended eventually to Malha station. Israel Railways operates train services to Malha train station from Tel Aviv via Beit Shemesh. [397] [398]

Begin Expressway is one of Jerusalem's major north-south thoroughfares; it runs on the western side of the city, merging in the north with Route 443, which continues toward Tel Aviv. Route 60 runs through the center of the city near the Green Line between East and West Jerusalem. Construction is progressing on parts of a 35-kilometer (22 mi) ring road around the city, fostering faster connection between the suburbs. [399] [400] The eastern half of the project was conceptualized decades ago, but reaction to the proposed highway is still mixed. [399]


Jerusalem is served by Ben Gurion Airport, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) northwest of the Jerusalem, on the route to Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv–Jerusalem railway runs non-stop from Jerusalem–Yitzhak Navon railway station to the airport and began operation in 2018. [401]

In the past, Jerusalem was also served by the local Atarot Airport. Atarot ceased operation in 2000.


Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus campus Skopusberg mit Universitaet.jpg
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus campus
Hand in Hand, a bilingual Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem Du-leshoni-2.jpg
Hand in Hand, a bilingual Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem


Jerusalem is home to several prestigious universities offering courses in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Founded in 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been ranked among the top 100 schools in the world. [402] The Board of Governors has included such prominent Jewish intellectuals as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. [207] The university has produced several Nobel laureates; recent winners associated with Hebrew University include Avram Hershko, [403] David Gross, [404] and Daniel Kahneman. [405] One of the university's major assets is the Jewish National and University Library, which houses over five million books. [406] The library opened in 1892, over three decades before the university was established, and is one of the world's largest repositories of books on Jewish subjects. Today it is both the central library of the university and the national library of Israel. [407] The Hebrew University operates three campuses in Jerusalem, on Mount Scopus, on Giv'at Ram and a medical campus at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. The Academy of the Hebrew Language are located in the Hebrew university in Givat Ram and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities located near the Presidents House.

Hebron Yeshiva in Givat Mordechai neighborhood Hebron yeshiva 1.jpg
Hebron Yeshiva in Givat Mordechai neighborhood

The Jerusalem College of Technology, founded in 1969, combines training in engineering and other high-tech industries with a Jewish studies program. [408] It is one of many schools in Jerusalem, from elementary school and up, that combine secular and religious studies. Numerous religious educational institutions and Yeshivot, including some of the most prestigious yeshivas, among them the Brisk, Chevron, Midrash Shmuel and Mir, are based in the city, with the Mir Yeshiva claiming to be the largest. [409] There were nearly 8,000 twelfth-grade students in Hebrew-language schools during the 2003–2004 school year. [327] However, due to the large portion of students in Haredi Jewish frameworks, only fifty-five percent of twelfth graders took matriculation exams ( Bagrut ) and only thirty-seven percent were eligible to graduate. Unlike public schools, many Haredi schools do not prepare students to take standardized tests. [327] To attract more university students to Jerusalem, the city has begun to offer a special package of financial incentives and housing subsidies to students who rent apartments in downtown Jerusalem. [410]

Al-Quds University was established in 1984 [411] to serve as a flagship university for the Arab and Palestinian peoples.[ citation needed ] It describes itself as the "only Arab university in Jerusalem". [412] New York Bard College and Al-Quds University agreed to open a joint college in a building originally built to house the Palestinian Legislative Council and Yasser Arafat's office. The college gives Master of Arts in Teaching degrees. [413] Al-Quds University resides southeast of the city proper on a 190,000 square metres (47 acres) Abu Dis campus. [411]

Other institutions of higher learning in Jerusalem are the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance [414] and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, [415] [416] whose buildings are located on the campuses of the Hebrew University.

Arab schools

Schools for Arabs in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel have been criticized for offering a lower quality education than those catering to Israeli Jewish students. [417] While many schools in the heavily Arab East Jerusalem are filled to capacity and there have been complaints of overcrowding, the Jerusalem Municipality is building over a dozen new schools in the city's Arab neighborhoods. [418] Schools in Ras el-Amud and Umm Lison opened in 2008. [419] In March 2007, the Israeli government approved a 5-year plan to build 8,000 new classrooms in the city, 40 percent in the Arab sector and 28 percent in the Haredi sector. A budget of 4.6 billion shekels was allocated for this project. [420] In 2008, Jewish British philanthropists donated $3 million for the construction of schools for Arabs in East Jerusalem. [419] Arab high school students take the Bagrut matriculation exams, so that much of their curriculum parallels that of other Israeli high schools and includes certain Jewish subjects. [417]


The Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the Israel Museum Billy Rose Art Garden (14755133799).jpg
The Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the Israel Museum

Although Jerusalem is known primarily for its religious significance, the city is also home to many artistic and cultural venues. The Israel Museum attracts nearly one million visitors a year, approximately one-third of them tourists. [421] The 20-acre (81,000 m2) museum complex comprises several buildings featuring special exhibits and extensive collections of Judaica, archaeological findings, and Israeli and European art. The Dead Sea scrolls, discovered in the mid-20th century in the Qumran Caves near the Dead Sea, are housed in the Museum's Shrine of the Book. [422] The Youth Wing, which mounts changing exhibits and runs an extensive art education program, is visited by 100,000 children a year. The museum has a large outdoor sculpture garden and a scale-model of the Second Temple. [421] The Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem houses the paintings of Anna Ticho and the Judaica collections of her husband, an ophthalmologist who opened Jerusalem's first eye clinic in this building in 1912. [423]

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo Jerusalem Zoo spider monkey.jpg
Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Next to the Israel Museum is the Bible Lands Museum, near The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, which includes the Israel Antiquities Authority offices. A World Bible Center is planned to be built adjacent to Mount Zion at a site called the "Bible Hill". A planned World Kabbalah Center is to be located on the nearby promenade, overlooking the Old City. The Rockefeller Museum, located in East Jerusalem, was the first archaeological museum in the Middle East. It was built in 1938 during the British Mandate. [424] [425] In 2006, a 38 km (24 mi) Jerusalem Trail was opened, a hiking trail that goes to many cultural sites and national parks in and around Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has ranked consistently as Israel's top tourist attraction for Israelis. [426] [427]

The national cemetery of Israel is located at the city's western edge, near the Jerusalem Forest on Mount Herzl. The western extension of Mount Herzl is the Mount of Remembrance, where the main Holocaust museum of Israel is located. Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, houses the world's largest library of Holocaust-related information. [428] It houses an estimated 100,000 books and articles. The complex contains a state-of-the-art museum that explores the genocide of the Jews through exhibits that focus on the personal stories of individuals and families killed in the Holocaust. An art gallery featuring the work of artists who perished is also present. Further, Yad Vashem commemorates the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis, and honors the Righteous among the Nations. [429]

National Library of Israel NLI building2.jpg
National Library of Israel

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, established in the 1940s, [430] has appeared around the world. [430] The International Convention Center (Binyanei HaUma) near the entrance to city houses the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Jerusalem Cinemateque, the Gerard Behar Center (formerly Beit Ha'Am) in downtown Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Music Center in Yemin Moshe, [431] and the Targ Music Center in Ein Kerem also present the arts. The Israel Festival, featuring indoor and outdoor performances by local and international singers, concerts, plays, and street theater has been held annually since 1961, and Jerusalem has been the major organizer of this event. The Jerusalem Theater in the Talbiya neighborhood hosts over 150 concerts a year, as well as theater and dance companies and performing artists from overseas. [432] The Khan Theater, located in a caravanserai opposite the old Jerusalem train station, is the city's only repertoire theater. [433] The station itself has become a venue for cultural events in recent years as the site of Shav'ua Hasefer (an annual week-long book fair) and outdoor music performances. [434] The Jerusalem Film Festival is held annually, screening Israeli and international films. [435] In 1974 the Jerusalem Cinematheque was founded. In 1981 it was moved to a new building on Hebron Road near the Valley of Hinnom and the Old City.

Jerusalem was declared the Capital of Arab Culture in 2009. [436] Jerusalem is home to the Palestinian National Theatre, which engages in cultural preservation as well as innovation, working to rekindle Palestinian interest in the arts. [437] The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music sponsors the Palestine Youth Orchestra [438] which toured Arab states of the Persian Gulf and other Middle East countries in 2009. [439] The Islamic Museum on the Temple Mount, established in 1923, houses many Islamic artifacts, from tiny kohl flasks and rare manuscripts to giant marble columns. [440] Al-Hoash, established in 2004, is a gallery for the preservation of Palestinian art. [441] While Israel approves and financially supports some Arab cultural activities,[ citation needed ] Arab Capital of Culture events were banned because they were sponsored by the Palestine National Authority. [436] In 2009, a four-day culture festival was held in the Beit 'Anan suburb of Jerusalem, attended by more than 15,000 people [442]

The Museum on the Seam, which explores issues of coexistence through art, is situated on the road dividing eastern and western Jerusalem. [443] The Abraham Fund and the Jerusalem Intercultural Center (JICC) promote joint Jewish-Palestinian cultural projects. The Jerusalem Center for Middle Eastern Music and Dance [444] is open to Arabs and Jews and offers workshops on Jewish-Arab dialogue through the arts. [445] The Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra performs both European classical and Middle Eastern music. [446] In 2008, the Tolerance Monument, an outdoor sculpture by Czesław Dźwigaj, was erected on a hill between Jewish Armon HaNetziv and Arab Jebl Mukaber as a symbol of Jerusalem's quest for peace. [447]


Jerusalem is the state broadcasting center of Israel. The Israel Broadcasting Authority's main office is located in Jerusalem, as well as the TV and radio studios for Israel Radio, Channel 2, Channel 10, and part of the radio studios of BBC News. The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel are also headquartered in Jerusalem. Local newspapers include Kol Ha'Ir and The Jerusalem Times. God TV, an international Christian television network is also based in the city.


Teddy Stadium, Malha Teddy stadium, Jerusalem.JPG
Teddy Stadium, Malha
Pais Arena Jerusalem Arena in a Playoff Match2.jpg
Pais Arena

The two most popular sports are football (soccer) and basketball. [448] Beitar Jerusalem Football Club is one of the most well known in Israel. Fans include political figures who often attend its games. [449] Jerusalem's other major football team, and one of Beitar's top rivals, is Hapoel Jerusalem F.C. Whereas Beitar has been Israel State Cup champion seven times, [450] Hapoel has won the Cup only once. Beitar has won the top league six times, while Hapoel has never succeeded. Beitar plays in the more prestigious Ligat HaAl, while Hapoel is in the second division Liga Leumit. Since its opening in 1992, Teddy Stadium has been Jerusalem's primary football stadium, with a capacity of 31,733. [451] The most popular Palestinian football club is Jabal Al Mukaber (since 1976) which plays in West Bank Premier League. The club hails from Mount Scopus at Jerusalem, part of the Asian Football Confederation, and plays at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium at Al-Ram, across the West Bank Barrier. [452] [453]

In basketball, Hapoel Jerusalem is one of the top teams in the top division. The club has won Israel's championship in 2015, the State Cup four times, and the ULEB Cup in 2004. [454]

The Jerusalem Marathon, established in 2011, is an international marathon race held annually in Jerusalem in the month of March. The full 42-kilometer race begins at the Knesset, passes through Mount Scopus and the Old City's Armenian Quarter, and concludes at Sacher Park. In 2012, the Jerusalem Marathon drew 15,000 runners, including 1,500 from fifty countries outside Israel. [455] [456] [457] [458] [459]

A popular non-competitive sports event is the Jerusalem March, held annually during the Sukkot festival.

Twin towns and sister cities

Partner city

See also


  1. The State of Palestine (according to the Basic Law of Palestine, Title One: Article 3) regards Jerusalem as its capital. [1] But the documents of the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) often refer to East Jerusalem (rather than the whole of Jerusalem) as a future capital, and sometimes as the current capital. One of its 2010 documents, described as "for discussion purposes only", says that Palestine has a '"vision"' for a future in which "East Jerusalem ... shall be the capital of Palestine, and West Jerusalem shall be the capital of Israel", [2] [3] and one of its 2013 documents refers to "Palestine's capital, East Jerusalem", and states that "Occupied East Jerusalem is the natural socio-economic and political center for the future Palestinian state", while also stating that "Jerusalem has always been and remains the political, administrative and spiritual heart of Palestine" and that "The Palestinian acceptance of the 1967 border, which includes East Jerusalem, is a painful compromise". [4]
  2. In other languages: official Arabic in Israel: Arabic: أورشليم القدس, romanized: Ûrshalîm-Al Quds (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); Ancient Greek: Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, romanized: Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; Armenian: Երուսաղեմ, romanized: Erusałēm.
  3. Jerusalem is the capital under Israeli law. The presidential residence, government offices, supreme court and parliament (Knesset) are located there. The State of Palestine (according to the Basic Law of Palestine, Title One: Article 3) regards Jerusalem as its capital. [1] The UN and most countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, taking the position that the final status of Jerusalem is pending future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Most countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv and its suburbs or suburbs of Jerusalem, such as Mevaseret Zion (see CIA Factbook and "Map of Israel" (PDF). (319 KB)) See Status of Jerusalem for more information.
  4. Statistics regarding the demographics of Jerusalem refer to the unified and expanded Israeli municipality, which includes the pre-1967 Israeli and Jordanian municipalities as well as several additional Palestinian villages and neighborhoods to the northeast. Some of the Palestinian villages and neighborhoods have been relinquished to the West Bank de facto by way of the Israeli West Bank barrier, [21] but their legal statuses have not been reverted.
  5. 1 2 Much of the information regarding King David's conquest of Jerusalem comes from Biblical accounts, but some modern-day historians have begun to give them credit due to a 1993 excavation. [23]
  6. West Jerusalem comprises approximately one third of the municipal area of Jerusalem, with East Jerusalem comprising approximately two thirds. On the annexation of East Jerusalem, Israel also incorporated an area of the West Bank into the Jerusalem municipal area which represented more than ten times the area of East Jerusalem under Jordanian rule. [40] [41] [42]

Related Research Articles

The Land of Israel, also known as the Holy Land or Palestine, is the birthplace of the Jewish people, the place where the final form of the Hebrew Bible is thought to have been compiled, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity. It contains sites sacred to Judaism, Samaritanism, Christianity, Islam, Druze and the Bahá'í Faith. The region has come under the sway of various empires and, as a result, has hosted a wide variety of ethnicities. However, the land was predominantly Jewish from roughly 1,000 years before the Common Era (BCE) until the 3rd century of the Common Era (CE). The adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire in the 4th century led to a Greco-Roman Christian majority which lasted not just until the 7th century when the area was conquered by the Arab Muslim Empires, but for another full six centuries. It gradually became predominantly Muslim after the end of the Crusader period (1099-1291), during which it was the focal point of conflict between Christianity and Islam. From the 13th century it was mainly Muslim with Arabic as the dominant language and was first part of the Syrian province of the Mamluk Sultanate and after 1516 part of the Ottoman Empire until the British conquest in 1917-18.

Palestinians Ethnonational group of Palestine

The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs, are an ethnonational group comprising the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine continuously over the centuries and who today are largely culturally and linguistically Arab; including those ethnic Jews and Samaritans who fit this definition.

Palestinian Christians

Palestinian Christians are Christian citizens of the State of Palestine. In the wider definition of Palestinian Christians, including the Palestinian refugees, diaspora and people with full or partial Palestinian Christian ancestry this can be applied to an estimated 500,000 people worldwide as of 2000. Palestinian Christians belong to one of a number of Christian denominations, including Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, other branches of Protestantism and others. They number 20% of the 13 million Palestinians. 70% live outside Palestine and Israel. In both the local dialect of Palestinian Arabic and in Classical Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic, Christians are called Nasrani or Masihi. Hebrew-speakers call them Notzri, which means Nazarene.

Temple Mount Religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram esh-Sharif and the Al Aqsa Compound, is a hill located in the Old City of Jerusalem that for thousands of years has been venerated as a holy site in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike.

This is a timeline of the development of Jews and Judaism. All dates are given according to the Common Era, not the Hebrew calendar.

Holy Land Term used by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to describe the Land of Israel and Palestine

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that also includes the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the Palestinian territories, western Jordan, and parts of southern Lebanon and of southwestern Syria. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all regard it as holy.

Old City (Jerusalem) Walled area in East Jerusalem

The Old City is a 0.9-square-kilometer (0.35 sq mi) walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem.

Timeline of Jerusalem

This is a timeline of major events in the History of Jerusalem; a city that had been fought over sixteen times in its history. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

East Jerusalem East sector of Jerusalem

East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem is the sector of Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel. Since the 1967 Arab–Israeli War, East Jerusalem has been considered occupied by Israel by the international community.

History of Jerusalem

During its long history, Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world.

Palestine (region) geographical region in the Middle East

Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia usually considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in some definitions, parts of western Jordan.

Demographic history of Jerusalem

Jerusalem's population size and composition has shifted many times over its 5,000 year history. Since medieval times, the Old City of Jerusalem has been divided into Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian quarters.

Jewish Quarter (Jerusalem) Part of the Jerusalem Old City

The Jewish Quarter is one of the four traditional quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. The 116,000 square meter area lies in the southeastern sector of the walled city, and stretches from the Zion Gate in the south, along the Armenian Quarter on the west, up to the Street of the Chain in the north and extends to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount in the east. In the early 20th century, the Jewish population of the quarter reached 19,000.

Palestinian Jews were Jewish inhabitants of Palestine prior to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

The history of the Jews and Judaism in the Land of Israel is about the history and religion of the Jewish people who originated in the Land of Israel, and have maintained physical, cultural, and religious ties to it ever since. First emerging in the later part of the 2nd millennium BCE as an outgrowth of southern Canaanites, the Hebrew Bible claims that a United Israelite monarchy existed starting in the 10th century BCE. The first appearance of the name "Israel" in the non-Biblical historic record is the Egyptian Merneptah Stele, circa 1200 BCE. During the biblical period, two kingdoms occupied the highland zone, the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) in the north, and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. The Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and the Kingdom of Judah by the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Initially exiled to Babylon, upon the defeat of the Neo-Babylonian Empire by the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great, many of the Jewish elite returned to Jerusalem, building the Second Temple.

Israel Country in Western Asia

Israel, formally known as the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Islam in Palestine

Islam is a major religion in Palestine, being the religion of the majority of the Palestinian population. Muslims comprise 85% of the population of the West Bank, when including Israeli settlers, and 99% of the population of the Gaza Strip. The largest denomination among Palestinian Muslims are Sunnis at 85% and another 15% are non-denominational Muslims.

Silwan Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem

Silwan is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem. Forty Jewish families also live in the area. Silwan is located in East Jerusalem. Silwan began as a farming village, dating back to the 7th century according to local traditions, while the earliest mention of the village is from the year 985. From the 19th century onwards, the village was slowly being incorporated into Jerusalem until it became an urban neighborhood.

History of Palestine aspect of history

The history of Palestine is the study of the past in the region of Palestine, generally defined as a geographic region in the Southern Levant between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands. Situated at a strategic point between Europe, Asia, and Africa, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. In ancient times, Palestine was intermittently controlled by several independent kingdoms and numerous great powers, including Ancient Egypt, Persia, Alexander the Great and his successors, the Roman Empire, several Muslim dynasties, and the Crusaders. In modern times, the area was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, then the United Kingdom. Since 1948, Palestine has been divided into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Other terms for approximately the same geographic area include Canaan, Zion, the Land of Israel, Southern Syria, Outremer and the Holy Land.

This timeline represents major events in the region of Palestine, which at different times during human habitation included a diverse number of people, cultures, religions and nations while being a part of several major empires and an important trade link between Europe and North African coast in the west and Asia and India in the East.


  1. 1 2 2003 Amended Basic Law. Basic Law of Palestine. Retrieved: 9 December 2012.
  2. "Jerusalem Non-Paper" (PDF). PLO-NAD. June 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  3. "Statements and Speeches". p. 2. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2014. This paper is for discussion purposes only. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

    Palestinian vision for Jerusalem
    Pursuant to our vision, East Jerusalem, as defined by its pre-1967 occupation municipal borders, shall be the capital of Palestine, and West Jerusalem shall be the capital of Israel, with each state enjoying full sovereignty over its respective part of the city.
  4. "East Jerusalem today – Palestine's Capital: The 1967 border in Jerusalem and Israel's illegal policies on the ground" (PDF). PLO-Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD). August 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2014. ... Palestine's capital, East Jerusalem ... The Palestinian acceptance of the 1967 border, which includes East Jerusalem, is a painful compromise: ... Jerusalem has always been and remains the political, administrative and spiritual heart of Palestine. Occupied East Jerusalem is the natural socio-economic and political center for the future Palestinian state.
  5. "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  6. "Localities, Population and Density per Sq. Km., by Metropolitan Area and Selected Localities". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  7. 2017 or empty |title= (help)[ permanent dead link ]
  8. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (15 June 2019). (PDF) Of these, 849,559 were Jews and others (62.1%) - 341,453 Arabs (37.9%).Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. Sub-national HDI. "Area Database". Global Data Lab.
  10. The book: Baitul Muqaddas; by: Abdulqadir; "History of Baitul Muqaddas (Jerusalem), a holy place for Muslims"
  11. The book: A-Z Guide to the Qur'an: A Must-have Reference to Understanding the Contents of the Islamic Holy Book; By: Mokhtar Stork; "JERUSALEM Referred to in Arabic as Baitul Muqaddas (The Holy House) or Baitul Maqdis (The House of the Sanctuary)"
  12. The book: Pan-Islamism in India & Bengal; By: Mohammad Shah; p. 63,191; ".. protector of Mecca, Medina and Baitul Muqaddas, the sacred places of pilgrimage of the Muslim world"
  13. Smith, William (6 December 2017). "Donald Trump confirms US will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel". Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  14. "Do We Divide the Holiest Holy City?". Moment Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2008. According to Eric H. Cline's tally in Jerusalem Besieged.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Greenberg, Raphael; Mizrachi, Yonathan (10 September 2013). "From Shiloah to Silwan – A Visitor's Guide". Emek Shaveh. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  16. "Timeline for the History of Jerusalem". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  17. Moore, Megan Bishop; Kelle, Brad E. (17 May 2011). Biblical History and Israel's Past: The Changing Study of the Bible and History. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN   9780802862600 via Google Books.
  18. Ben-Arieh, Yehoshua (1984). Jerusalem in the 19th Century, The Old City. Yad Izhak Ben Zvi & St. Martin's Press. p.  14. ISBN   0-312-44187-8.
  19. "Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls". UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  20. Tom Teicholz (20 July 2015). "Mr. Jerusalem: Nir Hasson of Haaretz's 'The Jerusalem Blog'". Forbes Israel. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  21. 1 2 Laub, Karin (2 December 2006). "Jerusalem Barrier Causes Major Upheaval". The Associated Press via The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  22. 1 2 3 "Table III/9 – Population in Israel and in Jerusalem, by Religion, 1988 – 2016" (PDF). 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  23. Pellegrino, Charles R. (1995). Return to Sodom & Gomorrah (Second revised ed.). Harper Paperbacks. p.  271. ISBN   0-380-72633-5. [see footnote]
  24. Tubb, 1998. pg-13-14.
  25. Mark Smith in "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" states "Despite the long regnant model that the Canaanites and Israelites were people of fundamentally different culture, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and Canaanites in the Iron I period (c. 1200 – 1000 BC). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period." (pp. 6–7). Smith, Mark (2002) "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" (Eerdman's)
  26. 1 2 Rendsberg, Gary (2008). "Israel without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press, pp. 3–5
  27. 1 2 Since the 10th century BCE:
    • "Israel was first forged into a unified nation from Jerusalem some 3,000 years ago, when King David seized the crown and united the twelve tribes from this city... For a thousand years Jerusalem was the seat of Jewish sovereignty, the household site of kings, the location of its legislative councils and courts. In exile, the Jewish nation came to be identified with the city that had been the site of its ancient capital. Jews, wherever they were, prayed for its restoration." Roger Friedland, Richard D. Hecht. To Rule Jerusalem, University of California Press, 2000, p. 8. ISBN   0-520-22092-7
    • "The centrality of Jerusalem to Judaism is so strong that even secular Jews express their devotion and attachment to the city, and cannot conceive of a modern State of Israel without it.... For Jews Jerusalem is sacred simply because it exists... Though Jerusalem's sacred character goes back three millennia...". Leslie J. Hoppe. The Holy City: Jerusalem in the theology of the Old Testament, Liturgical Press, 2000, p. 6. ISBN   0-8146-5081-3
    • "Ever since King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel 3,000 years ago, the city has played a central role in Jewish existence." Mitchell Geoffrey Bard, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Middle East Conflict, Alpha Books, 2002, p. 330. ISBN   0-02-864410-7
    • "Jerusalem became the center of the Jewish people some 3,000 years ago" Moshe Maoz, Sari Nusseibeh, Jerusalem: Points of Friction – And Beyond, Brill Academic Publishers, 2000, p. 1. ISBN   90-411-8843-6
  28. "Basic Facts you should know: Jerusalem". Anti-Defamation League . 2007. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2007. The Jewish people are inextricably bound to the city of Jerusalem. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, politics, culture, religion, national life and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Since King David established the city as the capital of the Jewish state circa 1000 BCE, it has served as the symbol and most profound expression of the Jewish people's identity as a nation."
  29. Reinoud Oosting, The Role of Zion/Jerusalem in Isaiah 40–55: A Corpus-Linguistic Approach , p. 117, at Google Books Brill 2012 pp. 117–118. Isaiah 48:2;51:1; Nehemiah 11:1,18; cf. Joel 4:17: Daniel 5:24. The Isaiah section where they occur belong to deutero-Isaiah.
  30. Shalom M. Paul, Isaiah 40–66 , p. 306, at Google Books Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012 p. 306. The 'holiness' (qodesh) arises from the temple in its midst, the root q-d-š referring to a sanctuary. The concept is attested in Mesopotamian literature, and the epithet may serve to distinguish Babylon, the city of exiles, from the city of the Temple, to where they are enjoined to return.
  31. Golb, Norman (1997). "Karen Armstrong's Jerusalem—One City, Three Faiths". The Bible and Interpretation. Retrieved 10 July 2013. The available texts of antiquity indicate that the concept was created by one or more personalities among the Jewish spiritual leadership, and that this occurred no later than the 6th century B.C.
  32. Isaiah 52:1 πόλις ἡ ἁγία.
  33. Joseph T. Lienhard, The Bible, the Church, and Authority: The Canon of the Christian Bible in History and Theology, Liturgical Press, 1995 pp. 65–66:'The Septuagint is a Jewish translation and was also used in the synagogue. But at the end of the first century C.E. many Jews ceased to use the Septuagint because the early Christians had adopted it as their own translation, and it began to be considered a Christian translation.'
  34. 1 2 Third-holiest city in Islam:
    • Esposito, John L. (2002). What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam . Oxford University Press. p.  157. ISBN   0-19-515713-3. The Night Journey made Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam
    • Brown, Leon Carl (2000). "Setting the Stage: Islam and Muslims". Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics. Columbia University Press. p. 11. ISBN   0-231-12038-9. The third holiest city of Islam—Jerusalem—is also very much in the center...
    • Hoppe, Leslie J. (2000). The Holy City: Jerusalem in the Theology of the Old Testament. Michael Glazier Books. p. 14. ISBN   0-8146-5081-3. Jerusalem has always enjoyed a prominent place in Islam. Jerusalem is often referred to as the third holiest city in Islam...
  35. Middle East peace plans by Willard A. Beling: "The Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam after Mecca and Medina".
  36. Lewis, Bernard; Holt, P. M.; Lambton, Ann, eds. (1986). Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge University Press.
  37. Quran   17:1–3
  38. Buchanan, Allen (2004). States, Nations, and Borders: The Ethics of Making Boundaries. Cambridge University Press. ISBN   0-521-52575-6 . Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  39. Kollek, Teddy (1977). "Afterword". In John Phillips (ed.). A Will to Survive – Israel: the Faces of the Terror 1948-the Faces of Hope Today. Dial Press/James Wade. about 225 acres (0.91 km2)
  40. Walid Khalidi (1996) Islam, the West and Jerusalem. Center for Contemporary Arab Studies & Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, quotes the breakdown as follows: West Jerusalem in 1948: 16,261 dunums (14%); West Jerusalem added in 1967: 23,000 dunums (20%); East Jerusalem under Jordanian rule: 6,000 dunums (5%); West Bank area annexed and incorporated into East Jerusalem by Israel: 67,000 dunums (61%)
  41. Aronson, Geoffrey (1995). "Settlement Monitor: Quarterly Update on Developments". Journal of Palestine Studies. University of California Press, Institute for Palestine Studies. 25 (1): 131–40. doi:10.2307/2538120. JSTOR   2538120. West Jerusalem: 35%; East Jerusalem under Jordanian rule: 4%; West Bank area annexed and incorporated into East Jerusalem by Israel: 59%
  42. Benvenisti, Meron (1976). Jerusalem, the Torn City. Books on Demand. p. 113. ISBN   978-0-7837-2978-7. East Jerusalem under Jordanian rule: 6,000 dunums; West Bank area annexed and incorporated into East Jerusalem by Israel: 67,000
  43. "Israel plans 1,300 East Jerusalem Jewish settler homes". BBC News. 9 November 2010. East Jerusalem is regarded as occupied Palestinian territory by the international community, but Israel says it is part of its territory.
  44. "The status of Jerusalem" (PDF). The Question of Palestine & the United Nations. United Nations Department of Public Information. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2019. East Jerusalem has been considered, by both the General Assembly and the Security Council, as part of the occupied Palestinian territory.
  45. "Israeli authorities back 600 new East Jerusalem homes". BBC News. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  46. "Resolution 298 September 25, 1971". United Nations . 25 September 1971. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2018. Recalling its resolutions... concerning measures and actions by Israel designed to change the status of the Israeli-occupied section of Jerusalem,...
  47. 1 2 Bisharat, George (2010). "Maximizing Rights". In Susan M. Akram; Michael Dumper; Michael Lynk (eds.). International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Rights-Based Approach to Middle East Peace. Routledge. p. 311. ISBN   978-1-136-85098-1. As we have noted previously the international legal status of Jerusalem is contested and Israel's designation of it as its capital has not been recognized by the international community. However its claims of sovereign rights to the city are stronger with respect to West Jerusalem than with respect to East Jerusalem.
  48. Moshe Hirsch; Deborah Housen-Couriel; Ruth Lapidot (1995). Whither Jerusalem?: Proposals and Positions Concerning the Future of Jerusalem. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 15. ISBN   90-411-0077-6. What, then, is Israel's status in west Jerusalem? Two main answers have been adduced: (a) Israel has sovereignty in this area; and (b) sovereignty lies with the Palestinian people or is suspended.
  49. David Noel Freedman; Allen C. Myers; Astrid B. Beck (2000). Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 694–695. ISBN   978-0-8028-2400-4 . Retrieved 19 August 2010. Nadav Na'aman, Canaan in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E., Eisenbrauns, 2005 pp. 177ff. offers a dissenting opinion, arguing for the transcription Rôsh-ramen, etymologized to r'š (head) and rmm (be exalted), to mean 'the exalted Head', and not referring to Jerusalem.
  50. G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren (eds.) Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, (tr. David E. Green) William B. Eerdmann, Grand Rapids Michigan, Cambridge, UK 1990, Vol. VI, p. 348
  51. "The El Amarna Letters from Canaan". Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  52. Meir Ben-Dov, Historical Atlas of Jerusalem, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002, p. 23.
  53. 1 2 Binz, Stephen J. (2005). Jerusalem, the Holy City. Connecticut: Twenty-Third Publications. p. 2. ISBN   9781585953653 . Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  54. G. Johannes Bottereck, Helmer Ringgren, Heinz-Josef Fabry, (eds.) Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, tr. David E. Green, vol. XV, pp. 48–49 William B. Eeerdmanns Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge UK 2006, pp. 45–6
  55. Elon, Amos (1996). Jerusalem. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. ISBN   0-00-637531-6. Archived from the original on 10 March 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2007. The epithet may have originated in the ancient name of Jerusalem—Salem (after the pagan deity of the city), which is etymologically connected in the Semitic languages with the words for peace (shalom in Hebrew, salam in Arabic).
  56. Ringgren, H., Die Religionen des Alten Orients (Göttingen, 1979), 212.
  57. Hastings, James (2004). A Dictionary of the Bible: Volume II: (Part II: I – Kinsman), Volume 2. Honolulu, Hawaii: Reprinted from 1898 edition by University Press of the Pacific. p. 584. ISBN   1-4102-1725-6 . Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  58. 1 2 Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (2007). Historic cities of the Islamic world. The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. pp. 225–226. ISBN   978-90-04-15388-2 . Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  59. 1 2 Denise DeGarmo (9 September 2011). "Abode of Peace?". Wandering Thoughts. Center for Conflict Studies. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  60. Marten H. Wouldstra, The Book of Joshua, William B. Eerdmanns Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan (1981) 1995, p. 169 n.2
  61. Bosworth, Francis Edward (1968). Millennium: a Latin reader, A. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 183. ASIN   B0000CO4LE . Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  62. Wallace, Edwin Sherman (August 1977). Jerusalem the Holy. New York: Arno Press. p. 16. ISBN   0-405-10298-4. A similar view was held by those who give the Hebrew dual to the word
  63. Smith, George Adam (1907). Jerusalem: The Topography, Economics and History from the Earliest Times to A.D. 70. Hodder and Stoughton. p.  251. ISBN   0-7905-2935-1. The termination -aim or -ayim used to be taken as the ordinary termination of the dual of nouns, and was explained as signifying the upper and lower cities (see here , p. 251, at Google Books)
  64. Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the Jews Volume I: The Akedah (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
  65. Writing, Literacy, and Textual Transmission: The Production of Literary by Jessica N. Whisenant p. 323
  66. King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities by Francesca Stavrakopoulou p. 98
  67. Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature by Susan Niditch p. 48
  68. The Mountain of the Lord by Benyamin Mazar p. 60
  69. Blessing and Curse in Syro-Palestinian Inscriptions by T. G Crawford p. 137
  70. Joseph Naveh (2001). "Hebrew Graffiti from the First Temple Period". Israel Exploration Journal. 51 (2): 194–207.
  71. Discovering the World of the Bible by LaMar C. Berrett p. 178
  72. "Bible, King James Version". Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  73. The Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Greece and Rome, Volume 1 , p. 113, at Google Books, p. 113
  74. 2 Samuel 5:7,9 . cited Israel Finkelstein, Amihay Mazar, Brian B. Schmidt (eds), The Quest for the Historical Israel, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007 p. 127.
  75. Bar-Kochva, Bezalel (2002). Judas Maccabeus: The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 447. ISBN   0-521-01683-5.
  76. Mazar, Eilat (2002). The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations. Jerusalem: Shoham Academic Research and Publication. p. 1. ISBN   965-90299-1-8.
  77. E.g., Jubilees 1:30 , the Septuagint version of Jeremias 48:5 (as Συχὲμ) and possibly the Masoretic text of Genesis 33:18 (see KJV and the margin translation of the Revised Version).
  78. E.g., the Vulgate and Peshitta versions. J.A. Emerton, "The site of Salem: the City of Melchizedek ( Genesis xiv 18 )," pp. 45–72 of Studies in the Pentateuch ed. by J.A. Emerton, vol. 41 of Supplements to Vetus Testamentum (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990) ("Emerton"), p. 45. See also John 3:23 where "Salim" or "Sylem" (Συχὲμ) is said to be near Ænon, thought to be in the valley of Mount Ebal, one of two mountains in the vicinity of Nablus.
  79. Onklelos, Pseudo-Jonathan and Neofiti I. Emerton, p. 45.
  80. Genesis 12:6–7 (where Abram built an altar), Genesis 33:18–20, Deuteronomy 11:29 & 28:11, Joshua 8:33, 1 Kings 12 . Emerton, p. 63.
  81. Paul Winter, "Note on Salem – Jerusalem", Novum Testamentum, vol. 2, pp. 151–152 (1957).
  82. Raymond Hayward. "Melchizedek as Priest of the Jerusalem Temple in Talmud, Midrash, and Targum" (PDF). The Temple Studies Group. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  83. "The Official Website of Jerusalem". Municipality of Jerusalem. 19 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007.
  84. Sonbol, Amira (1996). Women, the Family, and Divorce Laws in Islamic History. p. 133.
  85. "Israeli Archaeologists Discover 7,000-Year-Old Settlement". The New York Times . The New York Times Company. Associated Press. 17 February 2016. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  86. "No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people." David Ben-Gurion, 1947
  87. "For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, culture, religion and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Throughout centuries of exile, Jerusalem remained alive in the hearts of Jews everywhere as the focal point of Jewish history, the symbol of ancient glory, spiritual fulfillment and modern renewal. This heart and soul of the Jewish people engenders the thought that if you want one simple word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word would be 'Jerusalem.'" Teddy Kollek (DC: Washington Institute For Near East Policy, 1990), pp. 19–20.
  88. John Quigley (1 July 1998). The Palestine Yearbook of International Law, 1996–1997. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 32–. ISBN   90-411-1009-7. Palestine's claim to Jerusalem is founded on the longtime status of the Palestinian Arabs as the majority population of Palestine. On that basis the Palestinians claim sovereignty over all of Palestine. including Jerusalem, both East and West. The Palestinians claim descent from the Canaanites, the earliest recorded inhabitants of Palestine. Although political control changed hands many times through history, this population, which was Arabized by the Arab conquest of the seventh century A.D., remained into the twentieth century.
  89. "(With reference to Palestinians in Ottoman times) Although proud of their Arab heritage and ancestry, the Palestinians considered themselves to be descended not only from Arab conquerors of the seventh century but also from indigenous peoples who had lived in the country since time immemorial, including the ancient Hebrews and the Canaanites before them. Acutely aware of the distinctiveness of Palestinian history, the Palestinians saw themselves as the heirs of its rich associations." Walid Khalidi, 1984, Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians, 1876–1948. Institute for Palestine Studies
  90. Eric H. Cline. "How Jews and Arabs Use (and Misuse) the History of Jerusalem to Score Points" . Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  91. Eli E. Hertz. "One Nation's Capital Throughout History" (PDF). Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  92. Isabel Kershner (5 June 2007). "Under a Divided City, Evidence of a Once United One". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
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