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Title: Jerusalem  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of New Testament minuscules (1001–2000), List of diplomatic missions in Israel, Civilian casualties in the Second Intifada, Timeline of the history of the region of Palestine, List of Israeli museums
Collection: Amarna Letters Locations, Ancient Jewish Settlements of Judaea, Ancient Pilgrim Centres, Capitals in Asia, Cities in Israel, Cities in Jerusalem District, Cities in the Palestinian Territories, Disputed Territories in Asia, Fertile Crescent, Hebrew Bible Cities, Historic Jewish Communities, History of Islam, Holy Cities, Islamic Holy Places, Israeli–palestinian Conflict, Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Jerusalem Governorate, Jewish Holy Places, Land of Israel, Mixed Israeli Communities, New Testament Cities, Orthodox Jewish Communities, Palestinian Capitals, Territorial Disputes of Israel, Torah Cities
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (Yerushalayim)
Arabic: القُدس (al-Quds)
Aramaic: יְרוּשְׁלֶם (Yərushəlem)
From upper left: Jerusalem skyline viewed from Givat ha'Arba, Mamilla, the Old City and the Dome of the Rock, a souq in the Old City, the Knesset, the Western Wall, the Tower of David and the Ottoman Old City walls
From upper left: Jerusalem skyline viewed from Givat ha'Arba, Mamilla, the Old City and the Dome of the Rock, a souq in the Old City, the Knesset, the Western Wall, the Tower of David and the Ottoman Old City walls
Flag of Jerusalem
Emblem of Jerusalem
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Ir ha-Kodesh (The Holy City), Bayt al-Maqdis (House of the Holiness)
Claimed by Israel
Palestine (East)
Administered by Israel
Israeli District Jerusalem
Palestinian Governorate Jerusalem
 • Israeli Mayor Nir Barkat
 • Palestinian Mayor (East) Zaki al-Ghul
 • City 125,156 dunams (125.156 km2 or 48.323 sq mi)
 • Metro 652,000 dunams (652 km2 or 252 sq mi)
Elevation 754 m (2,474 ft)
Population (2013)
 • City 890,428 [1]
 • Density 6,400/km2 (17,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,029,300
Demonym Jerusalemite
Qudsi or Maqdisi
Time zone   (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST)   (UTC+3)
Area code(s) Overseas dialling: +972-2
Local dialling: 02

Jerusalem (; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם   ; Arabic: القُدس  ),[i] located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religionsJudaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both 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.

During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.[2] The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE.[3] In 1538, walls were built 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.[4] The Old City became a World Heritage site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger.[5] Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries.

According to the Biblical tradition, 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; there is no archaeological evidence that Solomon's Temple existed or any record of it, other than the Bible.[6] These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people.[7] The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated ‘ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times.[8][9][10] The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint[11] which Christians adopted as their own authority,[12] was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.[13][14] In Islamic tradition in 610 CE it became the first Qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat),[15] and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran.[16][17] As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi),[18] the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, the Garden Tomb and al-Aqsa Mosque.

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. Israel's 1980 Basic Law the Jerusalem Law refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. The international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.[19][20][21][22] The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies.

In 2011, Jerusalem had a population of 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000 (62%), Muslims 281,000 (35%), Christians 14,000 (around 2%) and 9,000 (1%) were not classified by religion.[23]

All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is home to the Hebrew University and to the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Overview of Jerusalem's historical periods 2.1
    • Ancient period 2.2
    • Classical antiquity 2.3
    • Middle Ages and caliphates 2.4
    • 16th–19th century − Ottoman rule 2.5
    • 1917–1948 − British Mandate 2.6
    • 1948–1967 − Jordan/Israeli rule 2.7
    • From 1967 − Israeli rule 2.8
  • Political status 3
    • International status 3.1
    • Status under Israeli rule 3.2
    • Jerusalem as capital 3.3
      • Capital of Israel 3.3.1
      • Capital of Palestine 3.3.2
    • Government precinct and national institutions 3.4
  • Municipal administration 4
  • Geography 5
    • Climate 5.1
  • Demographics 6
    • Demographic history 6.1
    • Current demographics 6.2
    • Urban planning issues 6.3
  • Religious significance 7
  • Culture 8
  • Media 9
  • Economy 10
  • Transportation 11
  • Education 12
  • Sports 13
  • High-rise construction 14
  • Notable residents 15
  • Twin towns and sister cities 16
  • See also 17
  • Notes 18
  • References 19
  • Further reading 20
  • External links 21


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.[24][25] Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba (1330s BCE).[26]

The name "Jerusalem" is variously etymologized to mean "foundation (Sumerian yeru, 'settlement'/Semitic yry' 'to found, to lay a cornerstone') of the god Shalem",[27][28] the god Shalem was thus the original tutelary deity of the Bronze Age city.[29]

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 Yhwh Yir'eh ("God will see to it", the name given by Abraham to the place where he began to sacrifice his son) and the town "Shalem".[30]

The earliest extra-biblical Hebrew writing of the word Jerusalem is dated to the sixth or seventh century BCE[31][32] 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",[33][34][35] 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".[36][37]

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).[38][39] The name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace",[28][40] "Abode of Peace",[41][42] "dwelling of peace" ("founded in safety"),[43] alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors.[44] The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city sits on two hills.[45][46] However, the pronunciation of the last syllable as -ayim appears to be a late development, which had not yet appeared at the time of the Septuagint.

The most 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.[47] Called the "Fortress of Zion" (metsudat Zion), it was renamed by David as the City of David,[48] and was known by this name in antiquity.[49][50] 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. 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.

In Arabic, Jerusalem is most commonly known as القُدس, transliterated as al-Quds and meaning "The Holy" or "The Holy Sanctuary".[41][42] 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.[51] 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.[52]


Given the city's central position in both Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism, the selectivity required to summarise more than 5,000 years of inhabited history is often[53] influenced by ideological bias or background (see Historiography and nationalism). For example, the Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Israeli nationalists (Zionists), whose discourse suggests that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees,[54][55] while the Islamic, Christian and other non-Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Palestinian nationalism, whose discourse suggests that modern Palestinians descend from all the different peoples who have lived in the region.[56][57] As a result, both sides claim the history of the city has been politicized by the other in order to strengthen their relative claims to the city,[53][53][58][59] 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

Ancient period

Stepped Stone Structure, City of David

Ceramic evidence indicates occupation of the

  • Modern-day map of Jerusalem, from City of Jerusalem.
  • Ancient Maps of Jerusalem, from the Jewish National Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Modern maps, post-1947 from PASSIA
  • Maps of Jerusalem, from Israel Star News


  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem's foremost institution of higher learning
  • al-Quds University, the only Palestinian university in Jerusalem


  • Israel Museum, one of Jerusalem's premier art museums
  • Yad Vashem, Israeli memorial to victims of The Holocaust


  • The Status of Jerusalem PDF (159 KB), United Nations document related to the recent dispute over Jerusalem
  • Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel, Government of Israel, the Israeli law making Jerusalem the capital of Israel


  • Official website of Jerusalem Municipality
  • Jerusalemp3, offers free virtual tours in mp3 format from the Jerusalem Municipality
  • Jerusalem at DMOZ

External links

  • Cheshin, Amir S.; Bill Hutman and Avi Melamed (1999). Separate and Unequal: the Inside Story of Israeli Rule in East Jerusalem Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-80136-3
  • Cline, Eric (2004) Jerusalem Besieged: From Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press ISBN 0-472-11313-5.
  • Collins, Larry, and La Pierre, Dominique (1988). O Jerusalem!. New York: Simon and Schuster ISBN 0-671-66241-4
  • Gold, Dore (2007) The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, The West, and the Future of the Holy City. International Publishing Company J-M, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-59698-029-7
  • Köchler, Hans (1981) The Legal Aspects of the Palestine Problem with Special Regard to the Question of Jerusalem Vienna: Braumüller ISBN 3-7003-0278-9
  • The Holy Cities: Jerusalem produced by Danae Film Production, distributed by HDH Communications; 2006
  • Wasserstein, Bernard (2002) Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09730-1
  • "Keys to Jerusalem: A Brief Overview", The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, Amman, Jordan, 2010.
  • Sebag Montefiore, Simon (2011) Jerusalem: The Biography, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, ISBN 978-0-297-85265-0
  • Young, Robb A (2012) Hezekiah in History and Tradition Brill Global Oriental Hotei Publishing, Netherlands

Further reading

  1. ^
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ a b "Timeline for the History of Jerusalem". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 16 April 2007. 
  4. ^ Ben-Arieh, Yehoshua (1984). Jerusalem in the 19th Century, The Old City. Yad Izhak Ben Zvi & St. Martin's Press. p. 14.  
  5. ^ "Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls". UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  6. ^ BBC Science and Nature
  7. ^ a b Since the 10th century BCE:[v]
    • "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
    • "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." Basic Facts you should know: Jerusalem, Anti-Defamation League, 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2007.
  8. ^ Reinoud Oosting, The Role of Zion/Jerusalem in Isaiah 40–55: A Corpus-Linguistic Approach, BRILL 2012 p. 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.
  9. ^ Shalom M. Paul, Isaiah 40–66, 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.
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Isaiah 52:1 πόλις ἡ ἁγία.
  12. ^ 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 Chritians had adopted it as their own translation, and it began to be considered a Christian translation.'
  13. ^ a b Third-holiest city in Islam:
    • Brown, Leon Carl (15 September 2000). "Setting the Stage: Islam and Muslims". Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics. Columbia University Press. p. 11.  
    • Hoppe, Leslie J. (August 2000). The Holy City: Jerusalem in the Theology of the Old Testament. Michael Glazier Books. p. 14.  
  14. ^ 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".
  15. ^ Lewis, Bernard; Holt, P. M.; Lambton, Ann, eds. (1986). Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge University Press. 
  16. ^ Quran 17:1–3
  17. ^  
  18. ^  
  19. ^ "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. 
  20. ^ "The status of Jerusalem". The Question of Palestine & the United Nations. United Nations Department of Public Information. East Jerusalem has been considered, by both the General Assembly and the Security Council, as part of the occupied Palestinian territory. 
  21. ^ "Israeli authorities back 600 new East Jerusalem homes". BBC News. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  22. ^ Resolution 298 September 25, 1971: "Recalling its resolutions... concerning measures and actions by Israel designed to change the status of the Israeli-occupied section of Jerusalem,..."
  23. ^ a b "Selected Data on the Occasion of Jerusalem Day".  
  24. ^ David Noel Freedman; Allen C. Myers; Astrid B. Beck (2000). Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 694–695.   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.
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ "The El Amarna Letters from Canaan". Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  27. ^ Meir Ben-Dov, Historical Atlas of Jerusalem, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002, p. 23.
  28. ^ a b Binz, Stephen J. (2005). Jerusalem, the Holy City. Connecticut, USA.: Twenty-Third Publications. p. 2.  
  29. ^ 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
  30. ^  
  31. ^ Writing, Literacy, and Textual Transmission: The Production of Literary by Jessica N. Whisenant p. 323
  32. ^ King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities by Francesca Stavrakopoulou p. 98
  33. ^ Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature by Susan Niditch p. 48
  34. ^ The Mountain of the Lord by Benyamin Mazar p. 60
  35. ^ Blessing and Curse in Syro-Palestinian Inscriptions by T. G Crawford p. 137
  36. ^ Joseph Naveh (2001). "Hebrew Graffiti from the First Temple Period". Israel Exploration Journal 51 (2): 194–207. 
  37. ^ Discovering the World of the Bible by LaMar C. Berrett p. 178
  38. ^ Elon, Amos. Jerusalem. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.  
  39. ^ Ringgren, H., Die Religionen des Alten Orients (Göttingen, 1979), 212.
  40. ^  
  41. ^ a b  
  42. ^ a b Denise DeGarmo (9 September 2011). "Abode of Peace?". Wandering Thoughts. Center for Conflict Studies. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  43. ^ Marten H. Wouldstra, The Book of Joshua, William B. Eerdmanns Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan (1981) 1995, p. 169 n.2
  44. ^ Bosworth, Francis Edward (1968). Millennium: a Latin reader, A. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 183.  
  45. ^ Wallace, Edwin Sherman (August 1977). Jerusalem the Holy. New York: Arno Press. p. 16.  
  46. ^ Smith, George Adam (1907). Jerusalem: The Topography, Economics and History from the Earliest Times to A.D. 70. Hodder and Stoughton. p. 251.   (see here [1])
  47. ^ The Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Greece and Rome, Volume 1, p. 113
  48. ^ 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.
  49. ^ Bar-Kochva, Bezalel (2002). Judas Maccabeus: The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 447.  
  50. ^ Mazar, Eilat (2002). The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations. Jerusalem: Shoham Academic Research and Publication. p. 1.  
  51. ^ "The Official Website of Jerusalem". Municipality of Jerusalem. 19 September 2011. 
  52. ^ Sonbol, Amira (1996). Women, the Family, and Divorce Laws in Islamic History. p. 133. 
  53. ^ a b c  
  54. ^ “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
  55. ^ “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.
  56. ^ "Throughout history a great diversity of peoples has moved into the region and made Palestine their homeland: Canaanites, Jebusites, Philistines from Crete, Anatolian and Lydian Greeks, Hebrews, Amorites, Edomites, Nabateans, Arameans, Romans, Arabs, and European crusaders, to name a few. Each of them appropriated different regions that overlapped in time and competed for sovereignty and land. Others, such as Ancient Egyptians, Hittites, Persians, Babylonians, and Mongols, were historical 'events' whose successive occupations were as ravaging as the effects of major earthquakes ... Like shooting stars, the various cultures shine for a brief moment before they fade out of official historical and cultural records of Palestine. The people, however, survive. In their customs and manners, fossils of these ancient civilizations survived until modernity—albeit modernity camouflaged under the veneer of Islam and Arabic culture." Ali Qleibo, Palestinian anthropologist
  57. ^ "(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
  58. ^  
  59. ^ Eli E. Hertz. "One Nation’s Capital Throughout History". Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  60. ^ a b c Freedman, David Noel (1 January 2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 694–95.  
  61. ^ Killebrew Ann E. "Biblical Jerusalem: An Archaeologiref name="mfa-40th">"TABLE 3. – POPULATION(1) OF LOCALITIES NUMBERING ABOVE 2,000 RESIDENTS AND OTHER RURAL POPULATION ON 31/12/2008" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 26 October 2009. cal Assessment" in Andrew G. Vaughn and Ann E. Killebrew, eds., "Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period" (SBL Symposium Series 18; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003)
  62. ^ Nadav Na'aman, op.cit pp.178–179.
  63. ^ Vaughn, Andrew G.; Ann E. Killebrew (1 August 2003). "Jerusalem at the Time of the United Monarchy". Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: the First Temple Period. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. pp. 32–33.  
  64. ^ Shalem, Yisrael (3 March 1997). "History of Jerusalem from Its Beginning to David". Jerusalem: Life Throughout the Ages in a Holy City. Bar-Ilan University Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies. Retrieved 18 January 2007. 
  65. ^ Nadav Naʼaman, Canaan in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E., p.180.
  66. ^ Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, Keys to Jerusalem: Collected Essays, Oxford University Press, 2012 p.4.
  67. ^ Jane M. Cahill, ‘Jerusalem at the time of the United Monarchy’, in Andrew G. Vaughn, Ann E. Killebrew (eds.)Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period, Society of Biblical Literature, 2003p.33.
  68. ^ Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman,The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts, Simon and Schuster 2002 p.239.
  69. ^ a b Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, Keys to Jerusalem: Collected Essays, Oxford University Press, 2012 pp.5–6.
  70. ^ K. L. Noll, Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: An Introduction, Continuum Publishing, 2002 p.78.
  71. ^ Joshua 18:28
  72. ^ Nadav Naʼaman, Canaan in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E., p.189:'The book of Joshua cannot be treated as a reliable source for the reconstruction of the network of Canaanite cities. Neither the mention of kings at Jericho, Ai, Bethel, Hebron and Debir, nor the presentation of Jerusalem as the head of a Canaanite coalition can be taken as evidence for reconstructing the reality in the late Bronze Age. One should not select evidence at random from the biblical source to support a theory. Conclusions must be drawn only on the basis of the early sources and the archaeological evidence’.
  73. ^ Nadav Naʼaman Canaan in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E., p.183.
  74. ^ Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman,The Bible Unearthed, p.238.
  75. ^ Erlanger, Steven (5 August 2005). "King David's Palace Is Found, Archaeologist Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2007. 
  76. ^ Israel Finkelstein, Amihay Mazar, Brian B. Schmidt, (eds.) The Quest for the Historical Israel, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007 pp.104,113, 125–8,165,174.
  77. ^ 1 Samuel 31:1–13:2 Samuel 5:4–5; Finkelstein, Silberman, op.cit.p.20.
  78. ^ a b Michael, E.; Sharon O. Rusten; Philip Comfort; Walter A. Elwell (28 February 2005). The Complete Book of When and Where: In The Bible And Throughout History. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. pp. 20–1, 67.  
  79. ^ Merling, David (26 August 1993). "Where is the Ark of the Covenant?". Andrew's University. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  80. ^ Richard A. Freund,Digging Through the Bible: Modern Archaeology and the Ancient Bible, Rowman & Littlefield, 2009p.9.
  81. ^ Zank, Michael. "Capital of Judah (930–586)". Boston University. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  82. ^ Robb Andrew Young, Hezekiah in History and Tradition,P:49
  83. ^ "The Broad Wall – Jerusalem Attractions, Israel". 3 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  84. ^ "Department of Archaeology – Silwan, Jerusalem: The Survey of the Iron Age Necropolis". Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  85. ^ "The Israelite Tower". The Jewish Quarter. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  86. ^ September 2012.htm "First Temple period public water reservoir uncovered in Jerusalem-6 September 2012". 6 September 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
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i.   ^ In other languages: official Arabic in Israel: أورشليم القدس Ûrshalîm-Al Quds (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); Russian: Иерусалим Ijerusalím; Armenian: Երուսաղեմ Erusaġem.
ii.   ^ 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.[376] 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 Positions on Jerusalem for more information.
iii.   ^ 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,[258] but their legal statuses have not been reverted.
iv.   ^ The website for Jerusalem is available in three languages—Hebrew, English, and Arabic.
v.   ^ a b 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.[377]
vi.   ^ Sources disagree on the timing of the creation of the Pact of Umar (Omar). Whereas some say the Pact originated during Umar's lifetime but was later expanded,[378][379] others say the Pact was created after his death and retroactively attributed to him.[380] Further still, other historians believe the ideas in the Pact pre-date Islam and Umar entirely.[381]


Panorama of the Temple Mount, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dome of the Rock, from the Mount of Olives

See also

Partner city

Twin towns and sister cities


Notable residents

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 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 underground 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.[367][368][369] 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.[370][371]

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.[365][366]

High-rise construction

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.[360][361][362][363][364]

In basketball, Hapoel Jerusalem plays in the top division. The club has won the State Cup three times, and the ULEB Cup in 2004.[359]

The two most popular sports are football (soccer) and basketball.[353] Beitar Jerusalem Football Club is one of the most well known in Israel. Fans include political figures who often attend its games.[354] 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,[355] 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 Kollek Stadium has been Jerusalem's primary football stadium, with a capacity of 21,600.[356] 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.[357][358]

Teddy Stadium, Malha


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.[349] While many schools in the heavily Arab East Jerusalem are filled to capacity and there have been complaints of overcrowding, the Jerusalem Municipality is currently building over a dozen new schools in the city's Arab neighborhoods.[350] Schools in Ras el-Amud and Umm Lison opened in 2008.[351] 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.[352] In 2008, Jewish British philanthropists donated $3 million for the construction of schools for Arabs in East Jerusalem.[351] 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.[349]

The Jerusalem College of Technology, founded in 1969, combines training in engineering and other high-tech industries with a Jewish studies program.[346] 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.[347] There were nearly 8,000 twelfth-grade students in Hebrew-language schools during the 2003–2004 school year.[245] 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.[245] 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.[348]

Al-Quds University was established in 1984[341] to serve as a flagship university for the Arab and Palestinian peoples. It describes itself as the "only Arab university in Jerusalem".[342] 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.[343] Al-Quds University resides southeast of the city proper on a 190,000 square metres (47 acres) Abu Dis campus.[341] Other institutions of higher learning in Jerusalem are the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance[344] and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design,[345] whose buildings are located on the campuses of the Hebrew University.

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.[335] The Board of Governors has included such prominent Jewish intellectuals as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.[156] The university has produced several Nobel laureates; recent winners associated with Hebrew University include Avram Hershko,[336] David Gross,[337] and Daniel Kahneman.[338] One of the university's major assets is the Jewish National and University Library, which houses over five million books.[339] 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.[340] 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.

Hand in Hand, a bilingual Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem


Jerusalem is served by Atarot Airport, but ownership of the airport is disputed by Palestines.

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.[333][334] The eastern half of the project was conceptualized decades ago, but reaction to the proposed highway is still mixed.[333]

Another work in progress[329] is a new high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Its terminus will be a new underground station (80 m (262.47 ft) deep) serving the International Convention Center and the Central Bus Station,[330] 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.[331][332]

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,[328] 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.

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


In 2010, Jerusalem was named the top leisure travel city in Africa and the Middle East by Travel + Leisure magazine.[327]

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.[322]

During the British Mandate, a law was passed requiring all buildings to be constructed of [155] 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.[245] Only 8.5% of the Jerusalem District work force is employed in the manufacturing sector, which is half the national average (15.8%). 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%).[324] 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.[325] Northern Jerusalem's Har Hotzvim industrial park is home to some of Israel's major corporations, among them Intel, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ophir Optronics and ECI Telecom. Expansion plans for the park envision one hundred businesses, a fire station, and a school, covering an area of 530,000 m2 (130 acres).[326]

Mamilla Avenue adorned with upscale shops adjacent to the Old City Walls.

Although many statistics indicate economic growth in the city, since 1967 East Jerusalem has lagged behind the development of West Jerusalem.[322] 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%).[245] Poverty in the city has increased dramatically in recent years. According to a report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), 78% of Palestinians in Jerusalem lived in poverty in 2012. This marks a steady increase from 2006 when 64% of Palestinians were in poverty. 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.[323] In 2006, the average monthly income for a worker in Jerusalem was NIS5,940 (US$1,410), NIS1,350 less than that for a worker in Tel Aviv.

Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa and Gaza.[322] Jerusalem's religious landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City,[245] but in the past half-century it has become increasingly clear that Jerusalem's providence cannot solely be sustained by its religious significance.[322]

Hadar Mall, Talpiot

Har Hotzvim high-tech park

Malha mall, Jerusalem


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. Local media entities include newspapers such as The Jerusalem Times.


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.[321]

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 Abraham Fund and the Jerusalem Intercultural Center] (JICC) promote joint Jewish-Palestinian cultural projects. The Jerusalem Center for Middle Eastern Music and Dance[318] is open to Arabs and Jews and offers workshops on Jewish-Arab dialogue through the arts.[319] The Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra performs both European classical and Middle Eastern music.[320]

Jerusalem was declared the Capital of Arab Culture in 2009.[312] 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.[313] The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music sponsors the Palestine Youth Orchestra[314] which toured the Gulf states and other Middle East countries in 2009.[315] 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.[316] While Israel approves and financially supports some Arab cultural activities, Arab Capital of Culture events were banned because they were sponsored by the Palestine National Authority.[312] In 2009, a four-day culture festival was held in the Beit 'Anan suburb of Jerusalem, attended by more than 15,000 people[317]

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.

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.[310] Al-Hoash, established in 2004, is a gallery for the preservation of Palestinian art.[311]

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has ranked consistently as Israel's top tourist attraction for Israelis.[308][309]

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.[304] The Khan Theater, located in a caravanserai opposite the old Jerusalem train station, is the city's only repertoire theater.[305] 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.[306] The Jerusalem Film Festival is held annually, screening Israeli and international films.[307]

The Museum on the Seam, which explores issues of coexistence through art, is situated on the road dividing eastern and western Jerusalem.[301]

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.[299] 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.[300]

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.[295] 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.[297][298]

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.

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.[295] 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.[296]

The Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the Israel Museum


Jerusalem is the third-holiest city in Islam.[13] For approximately a year, before it was permanently switched to the Kaaba in Mecca, the qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims was Jerusalem.[286][287] 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.[288][289][290] The first verse in the Qur'an's Surat al-Isra notes the destination of Muhammad's journey as al-Aqsa (the farthest) mosque,[291][292] 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.[293] Today, the Temple Mount is topped by an Islamic landmark intended to commemorate the event—al-Aqsa Mosque, derived from the name mentioned in the Qur'an, and also the place from which Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven.[294]

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[278] and later in his life cleansed the Second Temple.[279] 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.[280][281] Another prominent Christian site in Jerusalem is Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion. The Gospel of John describes it as being located outside Jerusalem,[282] but recent archaeological evidence suggests Golgotha is a short distance from the Old City walls, within the present-day confines of the city.[283] The land currently 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.[283][284][285]

Jerusalem has been sacred to the Jews since King David proclaimed it his capital in the 10th century BCE. Jerusalem was the site of Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple.[7] Although not mentioned in the Torah / Pentateuch,[273] 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.[274] Synagogues around the world are traditionally built with the Holy Ark facing Jerusalem,[275] and Arks within Jerusalem face the "Holy of Holies".[276] 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.[276][277]

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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.[272] Despite efforts to maintain peaceful religious coexistence, some sites, such as the Temple Mount, have been a continuous source of friction and controversy.

The al-Aqsa Mosque, a sacred site for Muslims
The Western Wall, known as the Kotel

Religious significance

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.[265] 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.[266] 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),[267] and the Museum of Tolerance on Mamilla Cemetery (adjacent to Zion Square).[266][268] Opponents view such urban planning moves as geared towards the Judaization of Jerusalem.[269][270][271]

Urban planning issues

Sheikh Jarrah, a predominantly Arab neighborhood on the road to Mount Scopus

Jerusalem had a population of 801,000 in 2011, of which Jews comprised 497,000 (62%), Muslims 281,000 (35%), Christians 14,000 (around 2%) and 9,000 (1%) were not classified by religion.[23]

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%.[264]

At the end of 2008, the population of East Jerusalem was 456,300, comprising 60% of Jerusalem's residents. Of these, 195,500 (43%) are Jews, (comprising 40% of the Jewish population of Jerusalem as a whole), 260,800 (57%) are Muslim (comprising 98% of the Muslim population of Jerusalem).[262] 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.[263]

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. Currently, the city's birthrate stands about 4.2 children per Jewish family and 3.9 children per Arab family.[259][260] 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.[261]

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.[258]

While some Israelis see Jerusalem as poor, rundown and riddled with religious and political tension, the city has been a magnet for 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.[254][255] Palestinians are attracted to the access to jobs, healthcare, social security, other benefits, and quality of life Israel provides to Jerusalem residents.[256] 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.[257]

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%.[245] 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.[249] 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. 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 ultra-orthodox population.[250] Many move to the suburbs and coastal cities in search of cheaper housing and a more secular lifestyle.[251] 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.[252][253]

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.[245] 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.[245]

Ezrat Torah, a Haredi neighborhood

In December 2007, Jerusalem had a population of 747,600—64% were Jewish, 32% Muslim, and 2% Christian.[244] At the end of 2005, the population density was 5,750.4/km2 (14,893/sq mi).[245][246] 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.[247] Of the Jewish population, 200,000 live in East Jerusalem settlements which are considered illegal under international law.[248]

Current demographics

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 a majority of the population.

Most population data pre-1905 is based on estimates, often from foreign travellers or organisations, since previous census data usually covered wider areas such as the Jerusalem District.[243] These estimates suggest that since the end of the Crusades, Muslims formed the largest group in Jerusalem until the mid-nineteenth century.

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.

Demographic history


Climate data for Jerusalem (1881–2007)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.4
Average high °C (°F) 11.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.1
Average low °C (°F) 6.4
Record low °C (°F) −6.7

Avg. rainy days 12.9 11.7 9.6 4.4 1.3 0 0 0 0.3 3.6 7.3 10.9 62.0
% humidity 61 59 52 39 35 37 40 40 40 42 48 56 45.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 192.2 243.6 226.3 267.0 331.7 381.0 384.4 365.8 309.0 275.9 228.0 192.2 3,397.1
Source #1: Israel Meteorological Service[240][241]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory for data of sunshine hours[242]

Most of the air pollution in Jerusalem comes from vehicular traffic.[238] 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.[238][239]

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 550 mm (22 in), with rain occurring almost entirely between October and May.[235] Snowfall is rare, and large snowfalls are even more rare.[236][237] Jerusalem received over 30 centimetres (12 in) of snow on 13 December 2013, which nearly paralyzed the city.[236][237] A day in Jerusalem has on average, 9.3 sunshine hours.


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

Jerusalem is 60 kilometers (37 mi)[230] east of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. On the opposite side of the city, approximately 35 kilometers (22 mi)[231] 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.[232][233][234]

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.[229]

Jerusalem is situated on the southern spur of a plateau in the Judean 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).[226] 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.[227] 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.[228] 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.[227] 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.

Astronauts' view of Jerusalem


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.[223] In the November 2008 city elections, Nir Barkat came out as the winner and is now the mayor. 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.[223] Within the city council, religious political parties form an especially powerful faction, accounting for the majority of its seats.[224] 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 moved from the Jerusalem Historical City Hall Building.[225] The city falls under the Jerusalem District, with Jerusalem as the district's capital.

Municipal administration

[222] in the town, and its Jerusalem Affairs Offices are all located in Abu Dis.Palestinian Legislative Council, 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 Abu Dis, Temple Mount 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 [221] has said that any agreement that did not include East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine would be unacceptable.Mahmoud Abbas President [220][219]. 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.Palestinian Authority stated that the final status of Jerusalem would be determined by negotiations with the Oslo Accords The [218][217] Many national institutions of Israel are located in

The Knesset building in Givat Ram

Government precinct and national institutions

Some states, such as Russia[210] and China,[211] recognize the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. UN General Assembly resolution 58/292 affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over East Jerusalem.[212]

The PLO's current 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.[209]

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,[190] 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.[208]

Orient House in East Jerusalem. Important Palestinian political and diplomatic center, closed by Israel in 2001

Capital of Palestine

On 28 October 2009, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine if peace is to be achieved.[207]

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.[201] However, U.S. presidents have argued that Congressional resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem are merely advisory. The Constitution reserves foreign relations as an executive power, and as such, the United States embassy is still in Tel Aviv.[202] Due to the non-recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, some non-Israeli press use Tel Aviv as a metonym for Israel.[203][204][205][206]

In July 1980, Israel passed the Jerusalem Law as Basic Law. The law declared Jerusalem the "complete and united" capital of Israel.[197] The "Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel" is a main reason for the international community not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 478 on 20 August 1980, which declared that the Basic 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.[198] 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.[199] Currently, there are no embassies located within the city limits of Jerusalem, although there are embassies in Mevaseret Zion, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and four consulates in the city itself.[200]

On 5 December 1949, Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel's capital,[195] and since then all branches of the Israeli governmentlegislative, judicial, and executive—have resided there, except for the Ministry of Defense, located at HaKirya in Tel Aviv.[196] At the time of the proclamation, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan and thus only West Jerusalem was proclaimed Israel's capital.

Capital of Israel

Jerusalem as capital

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[187] 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.[188][189] Palestinians regard Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine,[190] 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.[191] However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2014 that "Jerusalem will never be divided".[192] 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.[193] 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.[194]

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".[186]

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

Status under Israeli rule

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. Under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine passed by the UN 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.

International status

Political status

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.[184][185]

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.[181] 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.[182][183]

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.[178] to make way for a plaza for those visiting the wall.[179] 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 only 105 belonged to pre-1948 Jewish inhabitants. The old quarter was thus extended into the Mughrabi Harat Abu Sa'ud, and other quarters steeped in Arab and Palestinian history. The order designated these areas for public use, but were intended for Jews alone.[180] The government offered 200 Jordanian dinars to each displaced Arab family.

In 1967, despite Israeli pleas that Jordan remain neutral during the Six-Day War, Jordanian forces 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. East Jerusalem, along with some nearby West Bank territory, was subsequently annexed by Israel, as were the city's Christian and Muslim holy sites. On 27 June 1967, a few weeks after the war ended, Israel extended its law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem and some surrounding area, incorporating it into the Jerusalem Municipality,[176] 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.″[177] Later rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court, however, upheld the government's view that East Jerusalem had become part of Israel. 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.

From 1967 − Israeli rule

Map of East Jerusalem (2010)

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, and contrary to the terms of the armistice agreement, denied Jews access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites.[170] 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 Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated, with gravestones used to build roads and latrines.[171] Israeli authorities razed many ancient tombs in the ancient Muslim Mamilla Cemetery in West Jerusalem to facilitate the creation of a parking lot and public lavatories in 1964.[172] Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were demolished and replaced by modern structures.[173] During this period, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations.[174] The Jewish Quarter became known as Harat al-Sharaf, and was resettled with refugees from the 1948 war. In 1966 the Jordanian authorities relocated 500 of them to the Shua'fat refugee camp as part of plans to redevelop the area.[175]

After the establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem was declared its capital city.[164] Jordan formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1950, subjecting it to Jordanian law, and in 1953 declared it the "second capital" of Jordan.[158][165][166] Only the United Kingdom and Pakistan formally recognized such annexation, which, in regard to Jerusalem, was on a de facto basis.[167] Also, it is dubious that Pakistan recognized Jordan's annexation.[168][169]

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.[163] 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.

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

In contradiction to the Partition Plan, which envisioned a city separated from the Jewish and the Arab state, Israel conquered 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.[159][160] Arab residents of Katamon, Talbiya, and the German Colony were driven from their homes. By the end of the war Israel had control of 12 of Jerusalem's 15 Arab residential quarters. An estimated minimum of 30,000 people had become refugees.[161][162]

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."[157] 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. However, this plan was not implemented, as the 1948 war erupted, while the British withdrew from Palestine and Israel declared its independence.[158]

Palmach soldiers attack the San Simon monastery in Katamon, Jerusalem, April 1948 (battle reconstruction)

1948–1967 − Jordan/Israeli rule

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).[153] Relations between Arab Christians and Muslims and the growing Jewish population in Jerusalem deteriorated, resulting in recurring unrest. In Jerusalem, in particular, [155] and institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University were founded.[156]

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 by the name of 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 kilometers around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[152]

In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city.[151] In 1922, the League of Nations at the Conference of Lausanne entrusted the United Kingdom to administer Palestine, neighbouring Transjordan, and Iraq beyond it.

General Edmund Allenby enters the Old City of Jerusalem (11 December 1917)

1917–1948 − British Mandate

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).[150]

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,[147] 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.[148] In 1874 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.[149]

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.[143] 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.[145] 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.[143] The volume of Christian pilgrims increased under the Ottomans, doubling the city's population around Easter time.[146]

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.[143] In the 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine, Qasim al-Ahmad led his forces from Nablus and attacked Jerusalem, aided by the Abu Ghosh clan, 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.[144]

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.[142] 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.[142]

In 1517, Jerusalem and environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who generally remained in control until 1917.[130] 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.[140] 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".[141]

The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem - a new holy site etablished by British Protestants in the 19th century.
Ben-Zakai Synagogue in 1893
David's Citadel and the Ottoman walls

16th–19th century − Ottoman rule

In 1244, Jerusalem was sacked by the Khwarezmian Tartars, who decimated the city's Christian population and drove out the Jews.[138] The Khwarezmian Tartars were driven out by the Ayyubids in 1247. From 1260[139] to 1517, Jerusalem was ruled by the Mamluks. During this period of time 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. Some European Christian presence was maintained in the city by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

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.[133][134][135][136][137] The Ayyubids retained control of the Muslim holy places, and Arab sources suggest that Frederick was not permitted to restore Jerusalem's fortifications.

In 1187, the city was wrested from the Crusaders by Saladin who permitted Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city.[130] Under the terms of surrender, once ransomed, 60,000 Franks were expelled. The Eastern Christian populace was permitted to stay.[131] 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.[132]

In 1099, the Armenians, Syrians, Egyptians, Nestorians, Maronites, Jacobite Monophysites, 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.[128] As a result, by 1099 Jerusalem’s population had climbed back to some 30,000.[129]

Medieval illustration of capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, 1099

Byzantine Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab armies of Umar ibn al-Khattab in 634 CE. Among Muslims of Islam's earliest era it was referred to as Madinat bayt al-Maqdis ("City of the Temple")[114] which was 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".[115] 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,[116] and later still, al-Quds al-Sharif "The Noble City". 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.[117][118] In 638 CE the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem.[119] With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city.[120] The Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab signed a treaty with Monophysite Christian Patriarch Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem's Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule.[121] Christian-Arab tradition records that, when led to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site for Christians, the caliph Umar refused to pray in the church so that Muslims would not request conversion of the church to a mosque.[122] 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.[123] When the Muslims went to Bayt Al-Maqdes for the first time, 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.[124] The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik commissioned the construction of the Dome of the Rock in the late 7th century.[125] The 10th-century historian al-Muqaddasi writes that Abd al-Malik built the shrine in order to compete in grandeur with Jerusalem's monumental churches.[123] Over the next four hundred years Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control.[126] 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.[127]

Dome of the Rock viewed through Cotton Gate

Middle Ages and caliphates

Jerusalem reached a peak in size and population at the end of the Second Temple Period, when the city covered two square kilometers (0.8 sq mi)) and had a population of 200,000.[104][113]

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, and destroyed their monuments and churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This episode has been the subject of much debate between historians.[111] The conquered city would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius reconquered it in 629.[112]

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.[110]

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.[78][97][98] Shortly after Herod's death, in 6 CE Judea came under direct Roman rule as the Iudaea Province,[99] 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."[100] Roman rule was again challenged during the Bar Kokhba revolt, beginning in 132 CE and suppressed by the Romans in 135 CE. 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.[101] The city was renamed Aelia Capitolina,[102] 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[103][104][105] (which also affected Jewish Christians)[106] essentially "secularized" the city.[107] The ban was maintained until the 7th century,[108] 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.[109]

Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem (David Roberts, 1850)

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.[96] 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.

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.

Many Jewish tombs from the [92] 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[94][95] and inscribed by ancient Hebrew and Aramaic writings, are dated to between 100 BCE and 100 CE.

Reconstruction of what Jerusalem looked like during the 1st century CE, based on archaeological findings

In 538 BCE the Persian King Cyrus the Great invited the Jews of Babylon to return to Judah to rebuild the Temple.[88] 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.[89][90] In about 445 BCE, King Artaxerxes I of Persia issued a decree allowing the city (including its walls) to be rebuilt.[91] Jerusalem resumed its role as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship.

Classical antiquity

When the Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE, Jerusalem was strengthened by a great influx of refugees from the northern kingdom. The First Temple period ended around 586 BCE, as the Babylonians conquered Judah and Jerusalem, and laid waste to Solomon's Temple.[87]

According to the Bible, King David reigned for 40 years.[77] The generally accepted estimate of the conclusion of this reign is 970 BCE. The Bible states that David was succeeded by his son Solomon,[78] 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 history as the repository of the Ark of the Covenant.[79] On Solomon's death, ten of the northern Tribes of Israel broke with the United Monarchy to form their own nations, 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.[80][81] Archeological remains from the ancient Israelite period also include Hezekiah's Tunnel, an aqueduct built by Judean king Hezekiah and decorated with ancient Hebrew inscription, known as Siloam Inscription,[82] Broad Wall a defensive fortification built in the 8th century BCE, also by Hezekiah,[83] Monolith of Silwan, Tomb of the Royal Steward, which were decorated with monumental Hebrew inscriptions,[84] and Israelite Tower, remnants of ancient fortifications, built from large, sturdy rocks with carved cornerstones.[85] 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 Judean kingdom.[86]

This period, when Canaan formed part of the Egyptian empire corresponds in biblical accounts to Joshua’s invasion.[70] In the Bible, Jerusalem is defined as lying within territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin[71][72] 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,[73] and one of its several religious centres.[74] 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 federation.[69] Opinion is divided over whether a Large Stone Structure and a nearby Stepped Stone Structure may be identified with King David's palace, or dates to a later period.[75][76]

In the late Bronze Age Jerusalem was the capital of an Egyptian vassal city-state,[67] 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,[68] At the time of Seti I and Ramesses II, major construction took place as prosperity increased.[69]

, an ally of Abraham. Melchizedek The biblical account first mentions Jerusalem ("Salem") as ruled by [66].Ophel ridge The first settlement lay on the [65]

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