Jerusalem , meaning "The Holy [City/Home]"), located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the ancient cuneiform, Jerusalem was called "Urusalima", meaning "City of Peace", during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BC). It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism,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. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. 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 MuslimQuarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 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. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated ‘ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In Islamic tradition in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to theQuran. As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi), 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 Jerusalemremains 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 whileEast Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Whilst the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies. Jerusalem is also home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of national importance, such as the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book.
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.
|POPULATION :||• City 849,782|
• Metro 1,124,300
|TIME ZONE :||• (UTC+2)|
• Summer (DST) : (UTC+3)
|LANGUAGE :||Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language|
|RELIGION :||64% Jewish, 32% Muslim, and 2% Christian.|
|AREA :||• 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)|
|COORDINATES :||31°47′N 35°13′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.50%|
• Female: 50.50%
|AREA CODE :||2|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||Overseas dialling: +972-2|
Local dialling: 02
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Located in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, Jerusalem is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual center of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE, the third-holiest in Islam, and one of the holiest for Christianity. It has a history of nearly 4000 years, and has been fought over and conquered countless times in that period. While the city has had a large Jewish majority since 1967, a wide range of national, religious, and socioeconomic groups are represented here.
The walled area of Jerusalem, which until the 1860s formed the entire city, is now called the Old City, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. It consists of four ethnic and religious sections—the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. Barely one square kilometer, the Old City is home to several of Jerusalem's most important and contested religious sites including the Western Wall and Temple Mount for Jews, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians.
Surrounding the Old City are more modern areas of Jerusalem. The civic and cultural center of modern Israel is in western Jerusalem, while areas populated mostly by Arabs can be found in the eastern districts. Jerusalem became Israel's capital upon its independence and Jerusalem was united after the 1967 War when Israel captured East Jerusalem.
Given the city's central position in both Jewish nationalism (Zionism) andPalestinian nationalism, the selectivity required to summarize some 5,000 years of inhabited history is often influenced by ideological bias or background. The periods of Jewish sovereignty in the city's history are important to Israeli nationalists (Zionists), who claim the right to the city based on Jewish descent from the Israelite Kingdom of Judah, of which Jerusalem was the capital. The periods of Islamic, Christian and other non-Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Palestinian nationalists, who claim the right to the city based on modern Palestinians' descent from many different peoples who have lived in the region. 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, 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.
Any city, Jerusalem included, can be defined either in current administrative terms, as the area declared by legal means to be part of a municipality; or in historical terms, as the city which resulted from a process of urban development, united into one entity by a common territory, history and by virtue of its natural and social characteristics.The administrative inclusion of several outlying towns and villages after 1967, which are not fully and organically included in the social, economic, and political fabric of Jerusalem proper, creates confusion regarding any definition of the city of Jerusalem. This spreads to any related issue, such as defining the age of the city.
After the Six-Day War in 1967, Shuafat and other places defined as East Jerusalem were incorporated into the Jerusalem municipal district, in a move not internationally recognized. Shuafat lies about 6 kilometres north of Jerusalem's oldest historical part, the so-called City of David, and about 5 kilometres north of the walled Old City. Shuafat's history is distinct of that of its neighbour, Jerusalem, from its prehistoric beginnings through the biblical period, and throughout its later history until 1967.
Once one disregards this distinct history of Shuafat, one can treat the age of Jerusalem as being defined by the oldest archaeological finding in Shuafat, as is being done in this article by stating an age of 7,000 years, not for Shuafat, but for Jerusalem.
Shuafat is a historically separate town and since 1967 a neighborhood some 6 km north of the City of David area and 5 km north of Jerusalem's Old City. In 2016, Israeli archaeologists announced they had unearthed a 7,000-year-old settlement from the early Chalcolithic period in Shuafat. The archaeologists describe the discovery as the oldest of its kind in the region. The Israel Antiquities Authority asserts that the stone houses and artifacts confirm "the existence of a well-established settlement in the Jerusalem area as long ago as the fifth millennium BCE."
- City of David and Jerusalem proper
Ceramic evidence indicates occupation of the City of David, an area considered to be the initial nucleus of historical Jerusalem, as far back as the Copper Age (c. 4th millennium BCE).
There is no evidence of a permanent settlement in the City of David area until the early Bronze Age (c. 3000–2800 BCE). The Execration Texts (c. 19th century BCE), which refer to a city called rwš3lmm, variously transcribed as Rušalimum/Urušalimum/Rôsh-ramen and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BCE) may be the earliest mention of the city. Nadav Na'aman argues its fortification as the centre of a kingdom dates to around the 18th century BCE. The first settlement lay on the Ophel ridge.
In the late Bronze Age, Jerusalem was the capital of an Egyptian vassal city-state, 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, At the time of Seti I and Ramesses II, major construction took place as prosperity increased.
This period, when Canaan formed part of the Egyptian empire corresponds in biblical accounts to Joshua's invasion. In the Bible, Jerusalem is defined as lying within territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin  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, and one of its several religious centres. 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. 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.
According to the Bible, King David reigned for 40 years and was succeeded by his son Solomon, who built the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah. Solomon's Temple (later known as the First Temple), went on to play a pivotal role in Jewish religion as the repository of the Ark of the Covenant. On Solomon's death, ten of the northern Tribes of Israelbroke with the United Monarchy to form their own nation, with its kings, prophets, priests, traditions relating to religion, capitals and temples in northern Israel. The southern tribes, together with the Aaronid priesthood, remained in Jerusalem, with the city becoming the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. Archeological remains from the ancient Israelite period also include Siloam Tunnel, an aqueduct built by Judean king Hezekiah and decorated with ancient Hebrew inscription, known as Siloam Inscription, Broad Wall a defensive fortification built in the 8th century BCE, also by Hezekiah, Monolith of Silwan, Tomb of the Royal Steward, which were decorated with monumental Hebrew inscriptions, and Israelite Tower, remnants of ancient fortifications, built from large, sturdy rocks with carved cornerstones. 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.
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.
In 538 BCE, the Persian King Cyrus the Great invited the Jews of Babylon to return to Judah to rebuild the Temple. 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.
Sometime soon after 485 BCE Jerusalem was besieged, conquered and largely destroyed by a coalition of neighbouring states. In about 445 BCE, King Artaxerxes I of Persia issued a decree allowing the city (including its walls) to be rebuilt. Jerusalem resumed its role as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship.
Many Jewish tombs from the Second Temple period have been rediscovered in Jerusalem. One example, discovered north of the Old City, contains human remains in an ossuary decorated with the Aramaic inscription "Simon the Temple Builder." The Tomb of Abba, also located north of the Old City, bears an Aramaic inscription with Paleo-Hebrew letters reading: "I, Abba, son of the priest Eleaz(ar), son of Aaron the high (priest), Abba, the oppressed and the persecuted, who was born in Jerusalem, and went into exile into Babylonia and brought (back to Jerusalem) Mattathi(ah), son of Jud(ah), and buried him in a cave which I bought by deed." The Tomb of Benei Hezir located in Kidron Valley is decorated by monumental Doric columns and Hebrew inscription, identifying it as the burial site of Second Temple priests. 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 and inscribed by ancient Hebrew and Aramaic writings, are dated to between 100 BCE and 100 CE.
When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, Jerusalem and Judea came under Macedonian control, eventually falling to the Ptolemaic dynasty under Ptolemy I. In 198 BCE, Ptolemy V Epiphanes lost Jerusalem and Judea to the Seleucids under Antiochus III. The Seleucid attempt to recast Jerusalem as a Hellenized city-state came to a head in 168 BCE with the successful Maccabean revolt of Mattathias and his five sons againstAntiochus IV Epiphanes, and their establishment of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 152 BCE with Jerusalem as its capital.
In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great intervened in a struggle for the Hasmonean throne and captured Jerusalem, extending the influence of the Roman Republic over Judea. 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.
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. Shortly after Herod's death, in 6 CE Judea came under direct Roman rule as the Iudaea Province, 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." 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. The city was renamed Aelia Capitolina, 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 (which also affected Jewish Christians) essentially "secularized" the city. The ban was maintained until the 7th century, 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.
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.
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 theMamilla 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. The conquered city would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine EmperorHeraclius reconquered it in 629.
Jerusalem reached a peak in size and population at the end of the Second Temple Period, when the city covered two km2 (0.77 square miles) and had a population of 200,000.
Middle Ages and caliphates
Byzantine Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab armies of Umar ibn al-Khattab in 638 CE. Among Muslims of Islam's earliest era it was referred to as Madinat bayt al-Maqdis("City of the Temple") 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". 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, 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. In 638 CE the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem. With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. The Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab signed a treaty with Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem's Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule. Christian-Arab tradition records that, when led to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites for Christians, the caliph Umar refused to pray in the church so that Muslims would not request conversion of the church to a mosque. 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.
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. The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik commissioned the construction of the Dome of the Rock in the late 7th century. 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.
Over the next four hundred years Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control. Jerusalem was captured in 1073 by the Seljuk Turkish commander Atsız. After Atsız was killed, the Seljuk prince Tutush I granted the city to Artuk Bey, another Seljuk commander. After Artuk's death in 1091 his sons Sökmen and Ilghazi governed in the city up to 1098 when the Fatimids recaptured the city.
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. In 1099, the Fatimid ruler expelled the native Christian population before Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders, who massacred most of its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants when they took the solidly defended city by assault, after a period of siege, and left the city emptied of people; later the Crusaders created the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The city had been virtually emptied and recolonized by a variegated inflow of Greeks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Georgians,Armenians, Syrians, Egyptians, Nestorians, Maronites, Jacobite Miaphysites,Copts and others, to block the return of the surviving Muslims and Jews. The north-eastern quarter was repopulated with Eastern Christians from the Transjordan. As a result, by 1099 Jerusalem's population had climbed back to some 30,000.
In 1187, the city was wrested from the Crusaders by Saladin who permitted Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city. Under the terms of surrender, once ransomed, 60,000 Franks were expelled. The Eastern Christian populace was permitted to stay. 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.
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. The Ayyubids retained control of the Muslim holy places, and Arab sources suggest that Frederick was not permitted to restore Jerusalem's fortifications.
In 1244, Jerusalem was sacked by the Khwarezmian Tatars, who decimated the city's Christian population and drove out the Jews. The Khwarezmian Tatars were driven out by the Ayyubids in 1247. When Nachmanides visited in 1267 he found only two Jewish families, in a population of 2,000, 300 of whom were Christians, in the city. From 1260 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.
16th–19th centuries − Ottoman rule
In 1517, Jerusalem and environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who generally remained in control until 1917. 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. The English reference book Modern history or the present state of all nations, written in 1744, stated that "Jerusalem is still reckoned the capital city of Palestine, though much fallen from its ancient grandeaur".
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. 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.
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 theHurva. In the countrywide Peasants' Revolt, Qasim al-Ahmad led his forces from Nablus and attacked Jerusalem, aided by the Abu Ghosh clan, and entered the city on 31 May 1834. The Christians and Jews of Jerusalem were subjected to attacks. Ibrahim's Egyptian army routed Qasim's forces in Jerusalem the following month.
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. 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. 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. The volume of Christian pilgrims increased under the Ottomans, doubling the city's population around Easter time.
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, 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), andMamilla, 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. 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.
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).
Christian missionaries from the Anglican and Lutheran Churches arrived in the 19th Century, as did missionaries from the Christian & Missionary Alliance (CMA).
1917–1948 − British Mandate
In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city. In 1922, the League of Nations at theConference of Lausanne entrusted the United Kingdom to administerPalestine, neighbouring Transjordan, and Iraq beyond it.
The British had to deal with a conflicting demand that was rooted in Ottoman rule. Agreements for the supply of water, electricity, and the construction of a tramway system — all under concessions granted by the Ottoman authorities — had been signed by the city of Jerusalem and a Greek citizen 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 km (12 miles) around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
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). Relations between Arab Christians and Muslims and the growing Jewish population in Jerusalem deteriorated, resulting in recurring unrest. In Jerusalem, in particular, Arab riots occurred in 1920 and in 1929. Under the British, new garden suburbs were built in the western and northern parts of the city and institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University were founded.
1948–1967 − Jordanian/Israeli rule
In contradiction to the Partition Plan, which envisioned a city separated from the Arab state and the Jewish 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. 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.
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'sMusrara 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. Barbed wire and concrete barriers ran down the center of the city, passing close by Jaffa Gate on the western side of the old walled city, and a crossing point was established at Mandelbaum Gate slightly to the north of the old walled city. Military skirmishes frequently threatened the ceasefire.
After the establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem was declared its capital city. Jordan formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1950, subjecting it to Jordanian law, and in 1953 declared it the "second capital" of Jordan. Only the United Kingdom and Pakistan formally recognized such annexation, which, in regard to Jerusalem, was on a de facto basis. Some scholars argue that the view that Pakistan recognized Jordan's annexation is dubious.
After 1948, since the old walled city in its entirety was to the east of the armistice line, Jordan was able to take control of all the holy places therein. While Muslim holy sites were maintained and renovated, contrary to the terms of the armistice agreement, Jews were denied access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were destroyed or desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites, and restrictions were imposed on the Christian population that led many to leave the city. Of the 58 synagogues in the Old City, half were either razed or converted to stables and hen-houses over the course of the next 19 years, including the Hurva and the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue. The 3,000-year-old Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery was desecrated, with gravestones used to build roads, latrines and Jordanian army fortifications. 38,000 graves in the Jewish Cemetery were destroyed, and Jews were forbidden from being buried there. The Western Wall was transformed into an exclusively Muslim holy site associated with al-Buraq. Israeli authorities neglected to protect the tombs in the Muslim Mamilla Cemetery in West Jerusalem, which contains the remains of figures from the early Islamic period, facilitating the creation of a parking lot and public lavatories in 1964. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were demolished and replaced by modern structures during the Jordanian occupation. During this period, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations.
During the 1948 war, the Jewish residents of Eastern Jerusalem were expelled by Jordan's Arab Legion. Jordan allowed Arab Palestinian refugees from the war to settle in the vacated Jewish Quarter, which became known asHarat al-Sharaf. In 1966 the Jordanian authorities relocated 500 of them to the Shua'fat refugee camp as part of plans to turn the Jewish quarter into a public park.
From 1967 − Israeli rule
In 1967, despite Israeli pleas that Jordan remain neutral during the Six-Day War, Jordan, which had concluded a defense agreement with Egypt on May 30, 1967, attacked Israeli-held West Jerusalem on the war's second day. After hand-to-hand fighting between Israeli and Jordanian soldiers on the Temple Mount, the Israel Defense Forces captured East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank. On 27 June 1967, three weeks after the war ended, Israel extended its law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem, including the city's Christian and Muslim holy sites, along with some nearby West Bank territory which comprised 28 Palestinian villages, incorporating it into the Jerusalem Municipality, 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.″ Israel conducted a census of Arab residents in the areas annexed. Residents were given permanent residency status and the option of applying for Israeli citizenship. Since 1967, new Jewish residential areas have mushroomed in the eastern sector, while no new Palestinian neighbourhoods have been created.
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. to make way for a plaza for those visiting the wall. On 18 April 1968, an expropriation order by the Israeli Ministry of Finance more than doubled the size of the Jewish Quarter, evicting its Arab residents and seizing over 700 buildings of which 105 belonged to Jewish inhabitants prior to the Jordanian occupation of the city. The order designated these areas for public use, but they were intended for Jews alone. The government offered 200 Jordanian dinars to each displaced Arab family.
After the Six-Day War the population of Jerusalem increased by 196%. The Jewish population grew by 155%, while the Arab population grew by 314%. The proportion of the Jewish population fell from 74% in 1967 to 72% in 1980, to 68% in 2000, and to 64% in 2010. 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.
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. The final status of Jerusalem has been one of the most important areas of discord between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators for peace. Areas of discord have included whether the Palestinian flag can be raised over areas of Palestinian custodianship and the specificity of Israeli and Palestinian territorial borders.
The city is characterized by a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, 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. Snowfall is rare, and large snowfalls are even more rare. Jerusalem received over 30 centimetres (12 in) of snow on 13 December 2013, which nearly paralyzed the city. A day in Jerusalem has on average, 9.3 sunshine hours.
Most of the air pollution in Jerusalem comes from vehicular traffic. 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.
Climate data for Jerusalem
|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|
|Source #1: Israel Meteorological Service|
Jerusalem is situated on the southern spur of a plateau in the Judaean Mountains, which include the Mount of Olives (East) and Mount Scopus(North East). The elevation of the Old City is approximately 760 m (2,490 ft). The whole of Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys and dry riverbeds (wadis). TheKidron, Hinnom, and TyropoeonValleys intersect in an area just south of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Kidron Valleyruns 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 eschatologywith the concept of Gehenna or Hell.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. 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.
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.
Jerusalem is 60 kilometers (37 mi) east of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. On the opposite side of the city, approximately 35 kilometers (22 mi) 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.
Mount Herzl, at the western side of the city near the Jerusalem Forest, serves as the national cemetery of Israel.
Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa andGaza. Jerusalem's religious and cultural landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City.
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. 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. Northern Jerusalem's Har Hotzvim industrial park and the Jerusalem Technology Parkin south Jerusalem are home to large Research and Development centers of international tech companies, among them Intel, Cisco, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, IBM, Mobileye, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and more . In April 2015, Time Magazine picked Jerusalem as one of the five emerging tech hubs in the world, proclaiming that "The city has become a flourishing center for biomed, cleantech, Internet/mobile startups, accelerators, investors and supporting service providers."
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%). During the British Mandate, a law was passed requiring all buildings to be constructed of Jerusalem stone in order to preserve the unique historic and aesthetic character of the city. 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. Only 8.5% of the Jerusalem District work force is employed in the manufacturing sector, which is half the national average (15.8%).
Although many statistics indicate economic growth in the city, since 1967 East Jerusalemhas lagged behind the development of West Jerusalem. 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%). Poverty remains a problem in the city as 37% of the families in Jerusalem lived in 2011 below the poverty line. According to a report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel(ACRI), 78% of Arabs in Jerusalem lived in poverty in 2012, up from 64% in 2006. While the ACRI attributes the increase to the lack of employment opportunities, infrastructure and a worsening educational system, Ir Amim blames the legal status of Palestinians in Jerusalem.
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.
A new master plan for the city will see many high-rise buildings, including skyscrapers, built in certain, designated areas of downtown Jerusalem. Under the plan, towers will line Jaffa Road and King George Street. One of the proposed towers along King George Street, the Migdal Merkaz HaYekum, is planned as a 65-story building, which would make it one of the tallest buildings in Israel. At the entrance to the city, near the Jerusalem Chords Bridge and the Central Bus Station, twelve towers rising between 24 and 33 stories will be built, as part of a complex that will also include an open square and an underground train station serving a new express line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and will be connected by bridges and 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. 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. In August 2015, the city council approved construction of a 344-foot pyramid-shaped skyscraper designed by Daniel Libeskind and Yigal Levi, in place of a rejected previous design by Libeskind; it is set to break ground by 2019.
Surrounded by walls, this history-packed square kilometer is home to holy sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and is truly breathtaking. It was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Old City is by far the most important destination for travelers, although they usually sleep in hotels elsewhere in the city.
The part of Jerusalem controlled by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. It includes the entire east of the city, but also some suburban neighborhoods in the northwest and southwest. East Jerusalem is home to 250,000 Muslims and Christians, as well as nearly 200,000 Jews who live in neighborhoods constructed since 1967. The areas adjacent to the Old City are full of religious and historical attractions. (The Old City itself is politically part of East Jerusalem, but is described in a separate article.)
The Jewish-Israeli part of Jerusalem, also known as New Jerusalem, which has been part of Israel since 1948. It is the modern commercial heart of the city, having been the focus for development in the capital between 1948 and 1967.
This area is overwhelmingly inhabited by Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox") Jews. Their distinctive culture is reflected in a distinctive feel which these neighborhoods have compared to the rest of Jerusalem. Most of these neighborhoods are in West Jerusalem, but since 1967 some new neighborhoods have been built across the Green Line, in the northwest corner of East Jerusalem.
The area code prefix for Jerusalem is: 02.
Public telephones take prepaid phone cards which can be purchased at post offices, shops and lottery kiosks. They are available in the following denominations: 20 units (13 NIS), 50 units (29 NIS), or 120 units (60 NIS). Calls made on Saturdays and Friday evenings are 25% cheaper than the standard rate.
Coin-phones (usually 1 NIS) are also available. Those are private "public phones", owned and operated by shop owners.
Israeli Post offices are available for service from 8AM–12PM and 2PM–6PM, Sunday through Thursday, though hours may vary per branch.
- The central post office for West Jerusalem is located near the head of Jaffa Road, close to the municipality offices. Open until 7PM.
- In the Old City, post offices can be found in the Armenian Quarter near the Jaffa Gate, diagonally opposite the Tower of David Museum, as well as the Jewish Quarter on Plugat Ha-Kotel near the Broad Wall.
- A post office is in a small shopping mall on King George Street, immediately south of Jaffo street.
Israel uses the red British "pillar" mail boxes in some areas of Jerusalem, a reminder of the previous British Mandate.
You may find free Wi-Fi in buses or cafes.
Alternatively, most inexpensive cell phone plans include a few GB per month of internet data.
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