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26 octobre 2011 3 26 /10 /octobre /2011 06:24

Jerusalem : "The Holy Sanctuary" is the capital of Israel, though not internationally recognized as such.[iii] If the area and population of East Jerusalem is included, it is Israel's largest city[1] in both population and area,[2] with a population of 763,800 residents over an area of 125.1 km2 (48.3 sq mi).Sony A1258274A Battery

Located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea, modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the boundaries of the Old City.

Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions— Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Sony VGP-BPL10 Battery

In Judaism, Jerusalem has been the holiest city since, according to the Biblical Old Testament, King David of Israel first established it as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel in c. 1000 BCE, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Templein the city.Sony VGP-BPS10 Battery

In Christianity, Jerusalem has been a holy city since, according to the New Testament, Jesus was crucifiedin c. 30 CE, and 300 years later Saint Helena identified the pilgrimage sites of Jesus' life. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city. It became the first Qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (Salah) in 610 CE,Sony VGP-BPS10/S Battery

and, according to Islamic tradition, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later.As a result, and despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi),the Old City is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.Sony VGP-BPS10A/B Battery

During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of theoldest cities in the world. Sony VGP-BPS10B Battery

The old walled city, a World Heritage site, has been traditionally divided into four quarters, although the names used today—the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters—were introduced in the early 19th century. The Old City was nominated for inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger by Jordan in 1982.Sony VGP-BPS10A Battery

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 was captured byJordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it. Sony VGP-BPS11 Battery

Currently, Israel's Basic Law refers to Jerusalem as the country's "undivided capital". The international community has rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory held by Israel under military occupation.The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies.Sony VGP-BPL11 Battery

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 208,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, which is sought by the Palestinian Authority as a future capital of a future Palestinian state.

All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament),Sony VGP-BPL12 Battery

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. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has ranked consistently as Israel's top tourist attraction for Israelis.Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery


A city called Rušalimum or Urušalimum (Foundation of Shalem) appears in ancient Egyptian records as the first two references to Jerusalem, in c. 2000 BCE and c. 1330 BCE respectively. The form Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) first appears in the Bible, in the book of Joshua.Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery

This form has the appearance of a portmanteau (blend) of Yireh (an abiding place of the fear and the service of God) and the original root S-L-M and is not a simple phonetic evolution of the form in the Amarna letters. The meaning of the common root S-L-M is unknown but is thought to refer to either "peace" (Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew)Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

or Shalim, the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion.

Typically the ending -im indicates the plural in Hebrew grammar and -ayim the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name refers to the fact that the city sits on two hills. 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.Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

The tradition names the oldest settled neighborhood of Jerusalem, the City of David. "Zion" initially referred to 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 Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

(Greek: ??????????; in Greek hieròs, ?????, 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 ??????, transliterated as al-Quds and meaning "The Holy".Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

However it is also known[where?] as ????????????, transliterated as ?ršal?m, the cognate of the mainstream Hebrew and English names. Official Israeli government usage is for the two to be used together: ????????????-???????.


Given the city's central position in both Israeli nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism,Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

the selectivity required to summarise more than 5,000 years of inhabited history is often influenced by ideological bias or background (seeHistoriography and nationalism). For example, the Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Israeli nationalists (Zionists),Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

whose discourse suggests that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees, whilst 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.Sony VGP-BPS13AS Battery

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.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Ancient period

Ceramic evidence indicates occupation of the City of David, within present-day Jerusalem, as far back as the Copper Age (c. 4th millennium BCE), with evidence of a permanent settlement during the early Bronze Age (c. 3000–2800 BCE).Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

The Execration Texts (c. 19th century BCE), which refer to a city called Roshlamem or Rosh-ramen and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BCE) may be the earliest mention of the city.Some archaeologists, including Kathleen Kenyon, believe Jerusalem as a city was founded byNorthwest Semitic people with organized settlements from around 2600 BCE.Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

According to Jewish tradition, the city was founded by Shem andEber, ancestors of Abraham. In the biblical account, Jerusalem ("Salem") when first mentioned is ruled by Melchizedek, an ally of Abraham (identified with Shem in legend). Later, in the time of Joshua,Sony VGP-BPS13Q Battery

Jerusalem lay within territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:28), but continued to be under the independent control of the Jebusites until it was conquered by David and made into the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel (c. 11th century BCE).Sony VGP-BPS13S Battery

Recent excavations of a Large Stone Structure and a nearby Stepped Stone Structure are widely believed[by whom?] to be the remains of King David's palace. The excavations have been interpreted by some archaeologists as lending credence to the biblical narrative, while others disagree.Sony VGP-BPL7 Battery

According to Hebrew scripture, King David reigned for 40 years. The generally accepted estimate of the conclusion of this reign is 970 BCE. The Bible records that David was succeeded by his son Solomon,  who built the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah. Solomon's Temple(later known as the First Temple),Sony VGP-BPS7 Battery

went on to play a pivotal role in Jewish history as the repository of the Ark of the Covenant.  For more than 400 years, until the Babylonian conquest in 587 BCE, Jerusalem was the political capital of the united Kingdom of Israel and then the Kingdom of Judah. Sony VGP-BPL8 Battery

During this period, known as the First Temple Period, the Temple was the religious center of the Israelites. On Solomon's death (c. 930 BCE), the ten northern tribes split off to form the Kingdom of Israel. Under the leadership of the House of David and Solomon, Jerusalem remained the capital of the Kingdom of Judah.Sony VGP-BPL8A Battery

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.Sony VGP-BPL8B Battery

In 538 BCE, after 50 years of Babylonian captivity, Persian King Cyrus the Great invited the Jews 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.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

In about 445 BCE, King Artaxerxes I of Persia issued a decree allowing the city and the walls to be rebuilt. Jerusalem resumed its role as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship.

Classical antiquity

When Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, Jerusalem and Judea came under Macedonian control, eventually falling to the Ptolemaic dynasty under Ptolemy I. Sony VGP-BPS8A Battery

In 198 BCE, Ptolemy V lost Jerusalem and Judea to the Seleucids under Antiochus III. The Seleucid attempt to recast Jerusalem as aHellenized city-state came to a head in 168 BCE with the successful Maccabean revolt of Mattathias and his five sons against Antiochus Epiphanes, and their establishment of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 152 BCE with Jerusalem again as its capital.Sony VGP-BPS8B Battery

In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great intervened in a Hasmonean struggle for the throne and captured Jerusalem, incorporating Judea into the Roman Republic.

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. Sony VGP-BPL9 Battery

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,Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

although Herod's descendants through Agrippa II remained client kings of neighbouring territories until 96 CE. Roman rule over Jerusalem and the region began to be challenged with the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Sony VGP-BPS9/B Battery

Jerusalem once again served as the capital of Judea during the three-year rebellion known as the Bar Kokhba revolt, beginning in 132 CE. The Romans succeeded in suppressing the revolt in 135 CE. Emperor Hadrian romanized the city, renaming it Aelia Capitolina,  and banned the Jews from entering it. Sony VGP-BPS9/S Battery

Hadrian renamed the entire Iudaea Province Syria Palaestina, after the biblical Philistines, in an attempt to de-Judaize the country. The enforcement of the ban on Jews enteringAelia Capitolina continued until the 4th century CE.

In the five centuries following the Bar Kokhba revolt, the city remained under Roman then Byzantine rule. Sony VGP-BPS9A Battery

During the 4th century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I constructed Christian sites in Jerusalem, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 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.Sony VGP-BPS9A/B Battery

From the days of Constantine until the 7th century, Jews were banned from Jerusalem.

The eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, maintained control of the city for years. Within the span of a few decades, Jerusalem shifted from Byzantine to Persian rule and returned to Roman-Byzantine dominion once more.Sony VGP-BPS9A/S Battery

Following Sassanid Khosrau II's early 7th century push into Byzantine, advancing through Syria, Sassanid Generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin attacked the Byzantine-controlled city of Jerusalem (Persian: Dej Houdkh). They were aided by the Jews of Palestine, who had risen up against the Byzantines.Sony VGP-BPS9B Battery

In the Siege of Jerusalem (614), after 21 days of relentless siege warfare, Jerusalem was captured. The Byzantine chronicles relate that the Sassanid army and the Jews slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians in the city, an episode which has been the subject of much debate between historians.Sony VGP-BPX11 Battery

he conquered city would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius reconquered it in 629.

Middle Ages

Jerusalem is considered the third holiest city (after Mecca and Medina) in the Sunni denomination of Islam. Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

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 c.e.: Aelia Capitolina".Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery

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.Sony VGP-BPL20 Battery

(620 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 16 months, the direction of prayer was changed to Mecca.Sony VGP-BPS20/B Battery

In 638 the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem. With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. TheRashidun 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.Sony VGP-BPS20/S Battery

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 converting 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. Sony VGP-BPL21 Battery

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,Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

They searched for the site of the Far Away Holy Mosque (Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa) that was mentioned in Quran and Hadith according to Islamic beliefs. According to Islamic legend, they found the site full of rubbish, they cleaned it and started using it for prayers thereafter.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik commissioned the construction of the Dome of the Rock in the late 7th century.[80] 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.Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Over the next four hundred years Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control.

In 1099, The Fatimid ruler expelled the native Christian population before Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders, Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

who massacred most of its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants when they took the solidly defended city by assault, after a period of siege; later the Crusaders created the Kingdom of Jerusalem. By early June 1099 Jerusalem’s population had declined from 70,000 to less than 30,000.Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

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 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.Sony VGP-BPL22 Battery

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.

In 1244, Jerusalem was sacked by the Khwarezmian Tartars, who decimated the city's Christian population and drove out the Jews.Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery

The Khwarezmian Tartars were driven out by the Ayyubids in 1247. From 1250 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.Sony VGP-BPS22/A Battery

Early modern period

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 theOld City. Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery

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 nationswritten in 1744 stated that "Jerusalem is still reckoned the capital city of Palestine".Sony VGP-BPL23 Battery

The Ottomans brought many innovations: modern postal systems run by the various consulates; the use of the wheel for modes of transportation; stagecoach and carriage, the wheelbarrow and the cart; and the oil-lantern, among the first signs of modernization in the city.Sony VGP-BPS23 Battery

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.

Modern period

With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1831, foreign missions and consulates began to establish a foothold in the city.Sony VGP-BPS23/B Battery

In 1836, Ibrahim Pasha allowed Jerusalem's Jewish residents to restore four major synagogues, among them theHurva. 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. Sony VGP-BPS23/D Battery

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.Sony VGP-BPS23/G Battery

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. Sony VGP-BPS23/P Battery

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.Sony VGP-BPS23/W Battery

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.Sony Limited Edition 007 Battery

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.

British Mandate

In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, Sony VAIO VGC-LB15 Battery

captured the city, and in 1922, theLeague of Nations at the Conference of Lausanne entrusted the United Kingdom to administer the Mandate for Palestine, the neighbouring mandate of Transjordan to the east across the River Jordan, and the Iraq Mandate beyond it.Sony VGN-AR Series Battery

From 1922 to 1948 the total population of the city rose from 52,000 to 165,000 with two thirds of Jews and one-third of Arabs (Muslims and Christians). The situation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine was not quiet. In Jerusalem, in particular, riots occurred in 1920 and in 1929. Sony VGN-CR Series Battery

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.

Division and reunification 1948–1967

As the British Mandate for Palestine was expiring, the 1947 UN Partition Plan recommended "the creation of a special international regime in the City of Jerusalem, Sony VIAO VGN-G Series Battery

constituting it as a corpus separatum under the administration of the UN." 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.Sony VIAO VGN-G118 Battery

However, this plan was not implemented, as the 1948 war erupted, while the British withdrew from Palestine and Israel declared its independence. The war led to displacement of Arab and Jewish populations in the city. Sony VIAO VGN-G118CN/B Battery

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. The Arab Legion also attacked Western Jerusalem with snipers.Arab residents of Katamon, Talbiya, and the German Colony were driven from their homes.Sony VIAO VGN-G118CN/T Battery

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 Jerusalem being divided, with the old walled city lying entirely on the Jordanian side of the line. Sony VIAO VGN-G218 Battery

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: Sony VGN-TZ121 Battery

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 Israeliexclave inside East Jerusalem.Sony VGN-TZ13 Battery

Barbed wire and concrete barriers ran down the center of the city, passing close by Jaffa Gateon the western side of the old walled city, and a crossing point was established at Mandelbaum Gate slightly to the north of theold walled city. Military skirmishes frequently threatened the ceasefire. Sony VGN-TZ131 Battery

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. Only the United Kingdom and Pakistan formally recognized such annexation, which, in regard to Jerusalem, was on a de facto basis.Sony VGN-TZ132N Battery

Also, it is dubious if Pakistan recognized Jordan's annexation.

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,Sony VGN-TZ132/N Battery

denied Jews access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites.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.Sony VGN-TZ17N Battery

The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated, with gravestones used as to build roads and latrines. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were demolished and replaced by modern structures. During this period, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations.Sony VGN-TZ16N Battery

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.

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.Sony VGN-TZ18N Battery

After hand to hand fighting between Israeli and Jordanian soldiers on the Temple Mount, theIsrael Defense Force captured East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank. East Jerusalem, along with some nearby West Bank territory, was subsequently annexed by Israel. Sony VAIO VGN-AR47G/E1 Battery

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. Although at the time Israel informed the United Nations that its measures constituted administrative and municipal integration rather than annexation, Sony VAIO VGN-AR520E Battery

later rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court indicated that the eastern sector of Jerusalem had become part of Israel. In 1980, Israel passed the Jerusalem Law as an addition to its Basic Laws, which declared Jerusalem the "complete and united" capital of Israel. Sony VAIO VGN-AR53DB Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR54DB Battery

In the following days, Arabs living in the Jewish Quarter were also evicted. On April 18, 1968, the Israeli Treasury Ministry official expropriated the land of the former Moroccan Quarter and the Jewish Quarter for public use, and offered 200 Jordanian dinars to each displaced Arab family.Sony VAIO VGN-AR550E Battery

Israel subsequently built Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, and settled Jews in Arab neighborhoods. Following the annexation, Israel conducted a census of Arab residents in the areas annexed. Residents present at the time of the census were given permanent residency status, with the option of applying for citizenship.Sony VAIO VGN-AR55DB Battery

The annexation of East Jerusalem was met with international criticism. Following the passing of the Jerusalem Law, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR630E Battery


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  in order to expand the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem,Sony VAIO VGN-AR64DB Battery

while prominent 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. Palestinians envision East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state,  and the city's borders have been the subject of bilateral talks.Sony VAIO VGN-AR65DB Battery

A strong longing for peace is symbolized by the Peace Monument (with farming tools made out of scrap weapons), facing the Old City wall near the former Israeli-Jordanian border and quoting from the book of Isaiah in Arabic and Hebrew. Sony VAIO VGN-AR660U Battery


Jerusalem is situated on the southern spur of a plateau in the Judean Mountains, which include the Mount of Olives (East) andMount Scopus (North East). The elevation of the Old City is approximately 760 m (2,490 ft).Sony VAIO VGN-AR690U Battery

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.The Kidron Valley runs to the east of the Old City and separates the Mount of Olives from the city proper. Sony VAIO VGN-AR71ZU Battery

Along the southern side of old Jerusalem is the Valley of Hinnom, a steep ravine associated in biblicaleschatology with 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,Sony VAIO VGN-AR730E/B Battery

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 byJosephus). 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR73DB Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR74DB Battery

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,Sony VAIO VGN-AR75UDB Battery

Abu Dis and Ma'ale Adumim to the east, Mevaseret Zion to the west, and Ramallah and Giv'at Ze'ev to the north.


The city is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers, and mild, wet winters. Sony VAIO VGN-AR790U/B Battery

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);Sony VAIO VGN-AR820E Battery

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. Jerusalem has nearly 3,400 annual sunshine hours.Sony VAIO VGN-AR830E Battery

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, Sony VAIO VGN-AR83S Battery

but emissions from factories on theIsraeli Mediterranean coast can travel eastward and settle over the city.


In December 2007, Jerusalem had a population of 747,600—64% were Jewish, 32% Muslim, and 2% Christian.Sony VAIO VGN-AR83US Battery

At the end of 2005, the population density was 5,750.4 /km2 (14,893 /sq mi). 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR84S Battery

The study also found that about nine percent of the Old City's 32,488 people were Jews.

In December 2007, Jerusalem had a population of 747,600—64% were Jewish, 32% Muslim, and 2% Christian.  At the end of 2005, the population density was 5,750.4 /km2 (14,893 /sq mi).Sony VAIO VGN-AR84US Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR85S Battery

In 2005, the total population grew by 13,000 (1.8%)—similar to 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%.Sony VAIO VGN-AR85US Battery

This would seem to corroborate the observation that the percentage of Jews in Jerusalem has declined over the past four decades. In 196

7, Jews accounted for 74 percent of the population, while the figure for 2006 is down nine percent. Possible factors are the high cost of housing,Sony VAIO VGN-AR870EA Battery

fewer job opportunities and the increasingly religious character of the city, although proportionally, young Haredim are leaving in higher numbers. Many people are moving to the suburbs and coastal cities in search of cheaper housing and a more secular lifestyle.Sony VAIO VGN-AR890U Battery

In 2009, the percentage of Haredim in the city is 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR93S Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR93US Battery

Palestinians are attracted to the access to jobs, healthcare, social security, other benefits, and quality of life Israel provides to Jerusalem residents. 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR94S Battery

Residents also are entitled to the subsidized healthcare and social security benefits Israel provides its citizens. 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. Sony VAIO VGN-AR94US Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AR95S Battery

Urban planning issues

Critics of efforts to promote a Jewish majority in Jerusalem say that government planning policies are motivated by demographic considerations and seek to limit Arab construction while promoting Jewish construction.Sony VAIO VGN-AR95US Battery

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;Sony VAIO VGN-AW110J/H Battery

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. In recent years, private Jewish foundations have received permission from the government to develop projects on disputed lands,Sony VAIO VGN-AW11M/H Battery

such as the City of David archaeological park in the 60% Arab neighborhood ofSilwan (adjacent to the Old City),  and the Museum of Tolerance on Mamilla cemetery (adjacent to Zion Square).Opponents view such urban planning moves as geared towards the Judaization of Jerusalem.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11S/B Battery

Local government

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. In the November 2008 city elections, Nir Barkat came out as the winner and is now the mayor.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

Within the city council, religious political parties form an especially powerful faction, accounting for the majority of its seats. 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW120J/H Battery

The city falls under the Jerusalem District, with Jerusalem as the district's capital.

Political status

Under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine passed by the UN in 1947, Jerusalem was envisaged to become a corpus separatumadministered by the United Nations.Sony VAIO VGN-AW150Y/H Battery

While the Jewish leaders accepted the partition plan, the Arab leadership (the Arab Higher Committee in Palestine and the Arab League) rejected it, opposing any partition. 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. Sony VAIO VGN-AW160J/Q Battery

The international community largely considers the legal status of Jerusalem to derive from the partition plan, and correspondingly refuses to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the city. On 5 December 1949, the State of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion,Sony VAIO VGN-AW170Y/Q Battery

proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and since then all branches of the Israeli government—legislative, judicial, and executive—have resided there, except for the Ministry of Defense, located at HaKirya in Tel Aviv. At the time of the proclamation, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan and thus only West Jerusalem was proclaimed Israel's capital. Sony VAIO VGN-AW180Y/Q Battery

Following the Six-Day War, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, and a provision stipulating that the city was the united capital of Israel was added to the country's Basic Law.The status of a "united Jerusalem" as Israel's "eternal capital" has been a matter of immense controversy within the international community.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190JAH Battery

Although some countries maintain consulates in Jerusalem, all embassies are located outside the city proper, mostly in Tel Aviv. Due to the non-recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, some non-Israeli press use Tel Aviv as a metonym for Israel.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NAB Battery

The non-binding United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, passed on 20 August 1980, declared that the Basic Law was "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith". Member states were advised to withdraw their diplomatic representation from Jerusalem as a punitive measure.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NBB Battery

Most of the remaining countries with embassies in Jerusalem complied with the resolution by relocating them to Tel Aviv, where many embassies already resided prior to Resolution 478. Currently, there are no embassies located within the city limits of Jerusalem,Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NCB Battery

although there are embassies in Mevaseret Zion, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and four consulates in the city itself. In 1995, the United States Congress had planned to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with the passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YAB Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YBB Battery

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.

The Palestinian National Authority views East Jerusalem as occupied territory according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YCB Battery

The Palestinian Authority claims all of East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, as the capital of the State of Palestine, and 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YDB Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW220J/B Battery

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 it's [sic] capital are mistaken and misleading".Sony VAIO VGN-AW230J/H Battery

Government precinct and national institutions

Most national institutions of Israel are located in Jerusalem. The city is home to the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the official residences of the President and Prime Minister, the Cabinet, all ministries except the Ministry of Defense, and the Bank of Israel.Sony VAIO VGN-AW235J/B Battery

Prior to the creation of the State of Israel, Jerusalem served as the administrative capital of the British Mandate for Palestine, which included present-day Israel and Jordan. From 1949 until 1967, West Jerusalem served as Israel's capital, but was not recognized as such internationally because UN General Assembly Resolution 194 envisaged Jerusalem as an international city.Sony VAIO VGN-AW290JFQ Battery

As a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, the whole of Jerusalem came under Israeli control. On 27 June 1967, the government of Levi Eshkol extended Israeli law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem, but agreed that administration of the Temple Mount compound would be maintained by the Jordanian waqf, under the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Endowments.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF Battery

In 1988, Israel ordered the closure of Orient House, home of the Arab Studies Society, but also the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for security reasons. The building reopened in 1992 as a Palestinian guesthouse. The Oslo Accords stated that the final status of Jerusalem would be determined by negotiations with the Palestinian National Authority, Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

which regards East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Mahmoud Abbas has said that any agreement that did not not include East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine would be unacceptable, while Benjamin Netanyahu has similarly stated that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery

Due to its proximity to the city, especially the Temple Mount, Abu Dis, a Palestinian town bordering 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

The Palestinian Authority has built a possible future parliament building for the Palestinian Legislative Council in the town, and all its Jerusalem Affairs Offices are also located in Abu Dis.

Religious significance

Jerusalem has been sacred to Judaism for roughly 3000 years, to Christianity for around 2000 years, and to Islam for approximately 1400 years. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH Battery

The 2000 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem lists 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and 73 mosques within the city. Despite efforts to maintain peaceful religious coexistence, some sites, such as the Temple Mount, have been a continuous source of friction and controversy.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

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. Although not mentioned in the Torah / Pentateuch, it is mentioned in the Bible 632 times. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF Battery

Today, the Western Wall, a remnant of the wall surrounding the Second Temple, is a Jewish holy site second only to theHoly of Holies on the Temple Mount itself. Synagogues around the world are traditionally built with the Holy Ark facing Jerusalem, and Arks within Jerusalem face the "Holy of Holies".Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF/B Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW50DB/H Battery

Christianity reveres Jerusalem not only for its Old Testament history but also for its significance in the life of Jesus. According to the New Testament, Jesus was brought to Jerusalem soon after his birth  and later in his life cleansed the Second Temple.Sony VAIO VGN-AW51JGB Battery

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. Another prominent Christian site in Jerusalem is Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion. The Gospel of Johndescribes it as being located outside Jerusalem,Sony VAIO VGN-AW52JGB Battery

but recent archaeological evidence suggests Golgotha is a short distance from the Old City walls, within the present-day confines of the city. 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 two thousand years.Sony VAIO VGN-AW53FB Battery

Jerusalem is considered by some as the third-holiest city in Sunni Islam. For approximately a year, before it was permanently switched to the Kabaa in Mecca, the qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims was Jerusalem.The city's lasting place in Islam, however, is primarily due to Muhammad'sNight of Ascension (c. CE 620).Sony VAIO VGN-AW70B/Q Battery

Muslims believe Muhammad was miraculously transported one night from Mecca to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, whereupon he ascended to Heaven to meet previousprophets of Islam.The first verse in the Qur'an's Surat al-Isra notes the destination of Muhammad's journey as al-Aqsa (the farthest) mosque,in assumed reference to the location in Jerusalem. Sony VAIO VGN-AW71JB Battery

Today, the Temple Mount is topped by two Islamic landmarks intended to commemorate the event—al-Aqsa Mosque, derived from the name mentioned in the Qur'an, and the Dome of the Rock, which stands over the Foundation Stone, from which Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven.Sony VAIO VGN-AW72JB Battery


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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW73FB Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW80NS Battery

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. The Rockefeller Museum, located in East Jerusalem, was the first archaeological museum in the Middle East. Sony VAIO VGN-AW80S Battery

It was built in 1938 during the British Mandate.

Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, houses the world's largest library of Holocaust-related information, with an estimated 100,000 books and articles.Sony VAIO VGN-AW80US Battery

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 and an art gallery featuring the work of artists who perished. Sony VAIO VGN-AW81DS Battery

Yad Vashem also commemorates the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis, and honors the Righteous among the Nations. The Museum on the Seam, which explores issues of coexistencethrough art, is situated on the road dividing eastern and western Jerusalem.Sony VAIO VGN-AW81JS Battery

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, established in the 1940s, has appeared around the world. Other arts facilities include the International Convention Center (Binyanei HaUma) near the entrance to city, where the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra plays,Sony VAIO VGN-AW81YS Battery

the Jerusalem Cinemateque, the Gerard Behar Center (formerly Beit Ha'am) in downtown Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Music Center in Yemin Moshe, and the Targ Music Center in Ein Kerem. The Israel Festival, featuring indoor and outdoor performances by local and international singers, concerts, plays and street theater, has been held annually since 1961; Sony VAIO VGN-AW82DS Battery

for the past 25 years, Jerusalem has been the major organizer of this event. The Jerusalem Theater in the Talbiya neighborhood hosts over 150 concerts a year, as well as theater and dance companies and performing artists from overseas.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82JS Battery

The Khan Theater, located in a caravansarai opposite the old Jerusalem train station, is the city's onlyrepertoire theater.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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82YS Battery

The Jerusalem Film Festival is held annually, screening Israeli and international films.

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83FS Battery

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

Jerusalem was declared the Capital of Arab Culture in 2009. Jerusalem is home to thePalestinian National Theatre, which engages in cultural preservation as well as innovation, working to rekindle Palestinian interest in the arts.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83GS Battery

The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music sponsors the Palestine Youth Orchestra which toured the Gulf states and other Middle East countries in 2009. 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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83HS Battery

While Israel approves and financially supports Arab cultural activities, Arab Capital of Culture events were banned because they were sponsored by the Palestine National Authority. In 2009, a four-day culture festival was held in the Beit 'Anan suburb of Jerusalem, attended by more than 15,000 people.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90NS Battery

The Abraham Fund and the Jerusalem Intercultural Center] (JICC) promote joint Jewish-Palestinian cultural projects. The Jerusalem Center for Middle Eastern Music and Dance  is open to Arabs and Jews, and offers workshops on Jewish-Arab dialogue through the arts.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90S Battery

The Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra performs both European classical and Middle Eastern music.

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90US Battery

In 2008, the Tolerance Monument, an outdoor sculpture by Czes?aw D?wigaj, was erected on a hill between Jewish Armon HaNetziv and Arab Jebl Mukaber as a symbol of Jerusalem's quest for peace.


Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa and Gaza.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CDS Battery

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,  but in the past half-century it has become increasingly clear that Jerusalem's providence cannot solely be sustained by its religious significance.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CJS Battery

Although many statistics indicate economic growth in the city, since 1967 East Jerusalem has lagged behind the development ofWest Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the percentage of households with employed persons is higher for Arab households (76.1%) than for Jewish households (66.8%).Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CYS Battery

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%).Sony VAIO VGN-AW91DS Battery

Poverty in the city has increased dramatically in recent years; between 2001 and 2007, the number of people below the poverty threshold increased by forty percent.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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91JS Battery

During the British Mandate, a law was passed requiring all buildings to be constructed of Jerusalem stonein 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;Sony VAIO VGN-AW91YS Battery

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%). Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CDS Battery

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%). Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CJS Battery

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 is home to some of Israel's major corporations, among them Intel, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ophir Optronics and ECI Telecom.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CYS Battery

Expansion plans for the park envision one hundred businesses, a fire station, and a school, covering an area of 530,000 m2(130 acres).

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the national government has remained a major player in Jerusalem's economy.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92DS Battery

The government, centered in Jerusalem, generates a large number of jobs, and offers subsidies and incentives for new business initiatives and start-ups.

In 2010, Jerusalem was named the top leisure travel city in Africa and the Middle East by Travel + Leisure magazine.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92JS Battery


The airport nearest to Jerusalem is Atarot Airport, which was used for domestic flights until its closure in 2001. Since then it has been under the control of the Israel Defense Forces due to disturbances in Ramallah and the West Bank. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92YS Battery

All air traffic from Atarot was rerouted to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel's largest and busiest airport, which serves nine million passengers annually .

Egged Bus Cooperative, the second-largest bus company in the world,handles most of the local and intercity bus service. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93FS Battery

TheDan serves the Bnei Brak-Jerusalem route along with Egged, and Superbus serves the routes between Jerusalem, Modi'in Illit, andModi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut. The companies operate from Jerusalem Central Bus Station, the city's main bus depot, located on Jaffa Roadnear the western entrance to Jerusalem from Highway 1.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93GS Battery

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'sDamascus Gate. The Jerusalem Light Rail initiated service in August 2011. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93HS Battery

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.

Another work in progress  is a new high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZFS Battery

Its terminus will be an underground station (80 m (262.47 ft) deep) serving the International Convention Center and the Central Bus Station, and is planned to be extended eventually to Malha station. Israel Railways operates train services toMalha train station from Tel Aviv via Beit Shemesh.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZGS Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

Construction is progressing on parts of a 35-kilometer (22 mi) ring road around the city, fostering faster connection between the suburbs. The eastern half of the project was conceptualized decades ago, but reaction to the proposed highway is still mixed.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery


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.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

The Board of Governors has included such prominent Jewish intellectuals as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. The university has produced several Nobel laureates; recent winners associated with Hebrew University include Avram Hershko,David Gross,  and Daniel Kahneman.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

One of the university's major assets is the Jewish National and University Library, which houses over five million books.  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. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

Today it is both the central library of the university and the national library of Israel.  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.

Al-Quds University was established in 1984 to serve as a flagship university for the Arab and Palestinian peoples.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

It describes itself as the "only Arab university in Jerusalem". 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.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

Al-Quds University resides southeast of the city proper on a 190,000 square metres (47 acres) Abu Dis campus. Other institutions of higher learning in Jerusalem are the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance  and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, whose buildings are located on the campuses of the Hebrew University.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery

The Jerusalem College of Technology, founded in 1969, combines training in engineering and other high-tech industries with a Jewish studies program. It is one of many schools in Jerusalem, from elementary school and up, that combine secular and religious studies.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

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. There were nearly 8,000 twelfth-grade students in Hebrew-language schools during the 2003–2004 school year.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

However, due to the large portion of students in Haredi Jewish frameworks, only fifty-five percent of twelfth graders tookmatriculation 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.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

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.

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.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

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.  Schools in Ras el-Amud and Umm Lison opened in 2008.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

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.  In 2008, Jewish British philanthropists donated $3 million for the construction of schools in Arab East Jerusalem.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

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.


The two most popular sports are football (soccer) and basketball.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

Beitar Jerusalem Football Club is one of the most well known in Israel. Fans include political figures who often attend its games. 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, Hapoel has won the Cup only once.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

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

The popular Palestinian football team is called Jabal Al-Mokaber (since 1976) which plays in West Bank Premier League. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

The team 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.

The Jerusalem Half Marathon is an annual event in which runners from all over the world compete on a course that takes in some of the city's most famous sights.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

In addition to the 21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi) Half Marathon, runners can also opt for the shorter 10 km (6.2 mi) Fun Run. Both runs start and finish at the stadium in Givat Ram.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

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