Yerushalayim

Synonyms:
Jerusalem, y’-ru-sha-LA-yim, יְרוּשָׁלִָיִם
Jerusalem (Wikipedia)
For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation).
"Al-Quds" redirects here. For other uses, see Al-Quds (disambiguation).
Jerusalem
Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (Yerushalayim)
Arabic: القُدس (al-Quds)
Aramaic: יְרוּשְׁלֶם (Yərushəlem)
City
From upper left: Jerusalem skyline viewed from Givat ha'Arba, a souq in the Old City, Mamilla, the Knesset, the Old City and the Dome of the Rock, the Tower of David and the Ottoman Old City walls and the Western Wall.
From upper left: Jerusalem skyline viewed from Givat ha'Arba, a souq in the Old City, Mamilla, the Knesset, the Old City and the Dome of the Rock, the Tower of David and the Ottoman Old City walls and the Western Wall.
Flag of Jerusalem
Flag
Emblem of Jerusalem
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Ir ha-Kodesh (The Holy City), Bayt al-Maqdis (House of the Holiness)
Jerusalem WBIL.jpg
Location of Jerusalem
Location of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Location of Jerusalem
Coordinates: 31°47′N 35°13′E / 31.783°N 35.217°E / 31.783; 35.217Coordinates: 31°47′N 35°13′E / 31.783°N 35.217°E / 31.783; 35.217
Claimed by Israel
Palestine
Administered by Israel
Israeli District Jerusalem
Palestinian Governorate Jerusalem
Government
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body Jerusalem Municipality
 • Israeli Mayor Nir Barkat
 • Palestinian Mayor (East) Zaki al-Ghul (titular)
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)
Population
 • City 849,782
 • Density 6,400/km2 (17,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,124,300
Demonym(s) Jerusalemite, West Jerusalemite, East Jerusalemite
Qudsi/Maqdisi (used by Palestinians)
Time zone   (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST)   (UTC+3)
Area code(s) Overseas dialling: +972-2
Local dialling: 02
Website jerusalem.muni.il

Jerusalem (/əˈrsələm/; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushaláyim pronounced [jeruʃaˈlajim]; Arabic: القُدس‎‎ al-Quds pronounced [ˈaːɫ ˈquːdsˤ], Bait-ul-Muqaddas (بيت المقدس), 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 religionsJudaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as the State of Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there while the State of Palestine ultimately foresees the city 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 Muslim Quarters. 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 the Quran. 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 Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. 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.

« Back to Glossary Index