Jerusalem Officially Reunited
Israeli Generals enter the old city of Jerusalem, June 7, 1967. Photo: GPO Israel

June 28, 1967

Israel publishes the Jerusalem Declaration, announcing the reunification of the ancient holy city under Israeli sovereignty after the Six-Day War, which ended June 10. The announcement comes 23 days after Jordan chose to ignore Israeli warnings and enter the Six-Day War by firing artillery into Jerusalem and occupying the U.N. headquarters in the city. Israel responded later June 5 by surrounding Jerusalem, then seized the entire city, including the Old City with the Temple Mount, on June 7.

Jordan had annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank after seizing the territory west of the Jordan River during the Israeli War of Independence; the international community generally considered the Jordanian annexation to be illegal. During the 19 years of Jordanian rule over the ancient portions of Jerusalem, all Jews and Israeli Muslims were banned from worshipping at the city’s holy sites.

The Interior Ministry’s release of the Jerusalem Declaration officially extends Israeli legal and municipal jurisdiction to all of Jerusalem. It is the first Jewish administration of the Old City since the Romans conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol promises access to the holy sites for worshippers of all faiths, and Israel emphasizes interfaith and interethnic cooperation in the rebuilding of the city.

The Knesset formalizes Israel’s sovereignty over all of Jerusalem by enacting Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel on July 30, 1980. The law has the legal effect of annexation of areas beyond the cease-fire line of 1949, and the U.N. Security Council condemns the law and declares it null and void.