Jerusalem - The eternal capital of israel


The Western Wall in the Old City

Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel and one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to the 4th millennium BCE.  Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism and Christianity and has been the spiritual center of the Jewish people since c. 1000 BCE, when David the King of Israel first established it as the capital of the Jewish Nation, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city.

In the course of its history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.
 
Nestled in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea, modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the walls of the “old city” to cover a 48 square mile area (125 sq km).
 
Volumes have been written about what is probably the most amazing city in the world.  Although the name Jerusalem means "Abode of Peace," "Teaching of Peace", or "Whole or Complete Instruction", the actual times of peace for this city have been elusive, both in ancient times as well as in modern history.  The capital city was right in the middle of the war that broke out shortly after the modern state of Israel was birthed in 1948.
 
The war of 1948 resulted in Jerusalem being divided, with the old walled city lying entirely on the Jordanian side of the line. A no-man's land between East and West Jerusalem came into being in November 1948: Barbed wire and concrete barriers ran down the center of the city, passing close by the 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. Jordan formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1950, subjecting it to Jordanian law.
 
After 1948, Jordan was able to take control of all the holy places inside the old walled city, and contrary to the terms of the agreement, Israelis were denied access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites. During this period, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations.

In 1967, the Six-Day War saw hand to hand fighting between Israeli and Jordanian soldiers on the Temple Mount, and it resulted in Israel capturing East Jerusalem. Hence Jewish and Christian access to the holy sites inside the old walled city was restored, while the Temple Mount remained under the jurisdiction of an Islamic waqf. The Moroccan Quarter, which was located adjacent to the Western Wall, was vacated and razed to make way for a plaza for those visiting the wall. Since the war, Israel has expanded the city's boundaries and established a ring of Jewish neighborhoods on land east of the Green Line.

However, the takeover of East Jerusalem was met with international criticism. Following the passing of Israel's Jerusalem Law, which declared Jerusalem, "complete and united", the capital of Israel, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that declared the law "a violation of international law" and requested all member states to withdraw all remaining embassies from the city.
 
The status of the city, and especially its holy places, remains a core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to this day.
 
Some of the better known neighborhoods in Jerusalem include Rehavia, Baka, Talbieh, The German Colony, Nachlaot, Old Katamon, Arnona, Musrara, Jewish Quarter, French Hill, Greek Colony and Shaare Hesed.

Jerusalem municipality


 


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