July 06, 2020
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A City Coveted, Contested

It is a town that has been fought over 16 times in its history, destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times and captured and recaptured 44 times

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A City Coveted, Contested
A City Coveted, Contested
  • 3500 BC First settlement on the land comes up around 3500 BC, first houses are built in subsequent years and the first construction of the city wall is done in 1800 BC

  • 1000 BC King David conquers Jerusalem, declares it the capital city of Jewish Kingdom; his son King Solomon builds the first Jewish temple in 960 BC
  • 586 BC As the Jewish kingdom starts weakening after Solomon’s death, it is subjected to attack from various other forces; subsequently, the city is destroyed and the Jewish temple demolished by the Babylonian army.

  • 539 BC Cyrus the Great conquers the Babylonian empire, including Jerusalem, allows exiled Jews to return to city and build the Second Temple
  • 37 BC King Herod restructures Second Temple, adds retaining walls but subsequently in AD 30, Romans crucify Jesus in Jerusalem.
  • AD 70 Roman forces destroy and demolish the Second Temple; rebuilds Jerusalem as a Roman city
  • AD 335 Church of Holy Sepulchre is built by Byzantine Christians; Persians capture the city in 614; though in 629 the Byzantines recapture Jerusalem from Persians
  • AD 638 As Caliph Umar I enters Jerusalem, the city comes under Muslim rule and for the next four centuries is ruled by the Umayyad and then by the Abassid dynasties. The Dome of the Rock is built on site of the destroyed Jewish temple in 691.
  • 1099 The First Crusaders capture Jerusalem, but in 1187 Saladin recaptures the city from the Crusaders. Though Crusaders recapture it briefly twice afterwards, it remains mostly under Muslim rule. In 1250, the Caliph destroys the city walls, leading to a rapid decline in population.
  • 1516 Jerusalem is captured by the Ottomans and in 1538 under Suleiman the Magnificient’s rule the walls of Jerusalem is rebuilt.
  • 1917 The British defeats the Ottoman armies during the First World War and capture the city;  Jerusalem remains under a British mandate for the next few decades

  • 1946 King David Hotel is blown up by Irgun Tzvai-Leumi Zionist militants, killing 91 people, including 28 British government officials and remains the deadliest explosion in the history of Arab-Israeli conflict
  • 1947 UN Partition Plan—UN General Assembly Resolution 181—is passed, calling for internationalisation of Jerusalem as a “corpus separatum”, giving the city a unique legal and political status
  • 1948 The state of Israel is established, leading to conflict with Arabs, but as part of the armistice agreement, Jerusalem is divided, western part going to Israel and the rest to Jordan.
  • 1949 Israel declares Jerusalem as its capital and shifts its Knesset (parliament) and other major government establishments to the city from Tel Aviv
  • 1967 After the victory over the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Israel takes control of Jerusalem and calls it a unified city

  • 1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Jerusalem and addresses the Israeli Knesset, becoming the first Muslim leader to do so
  • 1995 US Congress passes a resolution accepting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but a series of American presidents find reason not to formally endorse it
  • 2000 Pope John Paul II becomes first pope to visit and pray at the Western Wall, but Israel-Palestine peace talks at Camp David break down over Jerusalem’s status. The Second Intifada also begins with Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount.

  • 2017 Donald Trump is the first US president to endorse Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, asking American administration to shift business to the city from Tel Aviv and sparking off worldwide protests from America’s allies and foes alike
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