Jerusalem Timeline

Events and quotations cited here demonstrate Jerusalem’s political and religious importance and craving to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and when in time each of them controlled parts of the city.  Other items here note when and/or why caliphs, churches, conferences, emirs, empires, generals, kings, resolutions, sultans, treaties, and other entities proclaimed privileges, control, and asserted views on how the city should be ruled, or which denominations within a faith could impose its physical control over the city, portions of it, or a particular venerated site. Indiana University Professor, Bernard Frischer estimates that since 2000 BCE, the city was destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked another 52 times, recaptured 44 times, been the scene of 20 revolts, many riots, and endured half a dozen seperate periods of violent terrorist attackes during the past century, with the city peacefully changing hands only twice.  

Three monotheistic religions possess core connections and/or holy sites, and sacred space in the walled Old City or just adjacent to it in Jerusalem. These include Christian holy sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre enclosing Jesus’s tomb, the churches of St. Anne, St. James, and St. Mark, the Tomb of the Virgin, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  Jewish holy sites include the Western Wall of the Second Temple, the Temple Mount from the First and Second Temples, Jewish tombs in the Kidron Valley,and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.  Muslim holy sites inclue the mosques on the Haram al-Sharif (al-Aqsa and Domb of the Rock), the Tomb of David (Nebi Da’ud), and the western wall of the Haram, or Buraq. 

Jews particularly have a 3,000-year history with the city of Jerusalem as a political, economic, religious and cultural center and focus.  In ancient times, the city housed the First and Second Temples where Jews from throughout the Land of Israel and the growing Diaspora made regular pilgrimages. Jewish tradition accepts the Temple Mount, where the First Temple stood, as the site of the binding of Isaac by Abraham. The retaining wall is believed to be the place where the shechinah – spirit of G-d has never departed.  After the destruction of the second Temple in the first century, an entire liturgical tradition of praying for a return to the city emerged which is still part of Jewish worship today.  And the direction of Jewish prayer outside the holy city always focused toward Jerusalem.  During the British mandate (1922-1948), the city was home to the Zionist leadership and most Zionist political, cultural and religious institutions, including the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and the Hebrew University.  Following the end of hostilities in 1948 and 1949, the Israeli government declared Jerusalem as its capital.  Since January 1950, the country’s parliament, supreme court, and offices of the Prime Minister were all established in Jerusalem.  Immediately after the June 1967 War, Israel annexed 70 kilometers of greater Jerusalem, declaring it the unified capital of Israel.  In July 1980, the Israeli parliament, in its sixth Basic Law, reaffirmed its sovereign prerogative to declare Jerusalem again the eternal capital of the Jewish people, promising to secure the rights of all religions within the city. Finally, on several occasions in the last fifty years, the UN or its affiliated organizations have affirmed that some or all of Jerusalem is territory that should be adjudicated in future negotiations; ruled with prejudice that the city has no connection to a Jewish past; or as Israel has done for the last half century, upheld its sovereign right to control authority and jurisdiction over the city as its united capital.  

Ken Stein, December 2017

1004 B.C.E.:  King David establishes Jerusalem as the Capitals of the Kingdom of Israel

970 B.C.E.:  King Solomon builds the First Temple in Jerusalem as the religious and spiritual center of the Jewish people

922 B.C.E.: The Jewish Kingdom divides between North (Israel) and South (Judea): Jerusalem becomes the capital of Judea

586 B.C.E.: King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon conquers Jerusalem and destroys the First Temple

538 B.C.E.: Jews rebuild the Temple anew, the Second Temple in Jerusalem

370 B.C.E.: Persians capture Jerusalem

332 B.C.E.: Alexander the Great conquers Jerusalem

163 B.C.E.: Jerusalem restored to Jewish autonomy under the Hasmonean Empire, with Maccabee’s defeat of the Hellenistic Jews

63 B.C.E.: Roman Rule in Jerusalem begins

10: The 9th day of the Jewish calendar month of Av (Tisha B’Av) is observed as a day of mourning for the destruction of the First Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Still practiced today, Jews all over the world fast as they mourn the loss of both the first and second holy Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other tragedies in Jewish history.

28-30: Ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem

30: Martyrdom of Jesus in Jerusalem, followed by Jesus’ early followers, known as “the Twelve” moving from the Galilee to the holy city

70: Romans siege of Jerusalem; they destroy Jerusalem and the Second Temple

132-135: Simon Bar Kokhba revolts against the Roman Empire, controlling Jerusalem for three years

313: Brotherhood of Holy Sepulchre founded in Jerusalem

325-335: Church of Holy Sepulchre built in Jerusalem

Early 600s: Muhammad founds Islam, facing Jerusalem during prayer

614-638: Jerusalem falls to the Persians

636-637: Muslim Caliph Umar conquers Jerusalem; Jews once again allowed to live in Jerusalem

638: The Armenian Apostolic Church begins to appoint its own bishop in Jerusalem, then under Islamic control

679-690: Al-Aqsa – prayer – mosque constructed in Jerusalem along southern wall of city

687-691: Dome of the Rock Mosque built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount near al-Aqsa mosque

797: The first embassy is sent from King Charlemagne to the Muslim Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who is reported to have offered the custody of the Holy places in Jerusalem to Charlemagne, including The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

1009: Muslim Caliph orders complete destruction of Church of Holy Sepulchre

1042-48: The Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos sponsors the rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in cooperation with the Muslim Caliph

1054: Christians in the Land of Israel are placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.

1095: Pope Urban II calls for the First Crusade

1099-1187: Crusader period with the first capture of Jerusalem by Europeans

May 1141: Spanish/Hebrew poet Judah Halevi promotes return of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem

1187: Saladin, a Kurdish Muslim captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders

1244: Jerusalem destroyed

1250: 1517 Mamlukes rule Jerusalem

1264: Nachmanides, also known as Ramban revitalizes Jewish presence in Jerusalem, encouraging other Jews to return there

1392: English King Henry IV makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem

1516-1517: Ottoman Empire replaces Mamluk control over much of the Levant and Jerusalem

1535-1538: Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds the city walls of Jerusalem

1563: The Shulchan Aruch, considered a definitive code of Jewish law, is written. Amongst many other rulings, it requires that doors and windows of Jewish synagogues should open towards Jerusalem so that worshippers may pray towards the holy city. According to archaeological evidence, Jews living outside of Jerusalem, since the Babylonian exile (597/586 BCE – 538BCE), have maintained Jerusalem as an object of prayer.

1604: An agreement is reached between the Ottoman Empire and King Henry IV of France allowing his subjects to freely visit Holy sites in Jerusalem

1774: Catherine the Great and the Ottoman Sultan sign an agreement giving Russia the right to preside over all Christian holy sites in the Ottoman Empire, including those in Jerusalem

1799: During the Siege of Acre, Napoleon unsuccessfully attempts to capture Jerusalem

1831: Muhammad Ali of Egypt takes Jerusalem

1840: Ottoman Turks retake Jerusalem

1847: Giuseppe Valerga becomes the first Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem since the time of the Crusades

1853: The Ottoman Sultan’s attempt to fix the rights and responsibilities of different denominations as regards specific holy places in Jerusalem resulted in European powers fighting in the Crimean War.

1860: Moses Montifiore establishes residential areas outside the old city, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, later known as Yemin Moshe, other Jewish neighborhoods established outside the city, (Mahne Israel-1868, Nahalat Siva’a-1869, Beit David-1872, Mea She’arim-1873)

1866: Jerusalem population – 16,000 inhabitants, 8,000 of whom are Jewish

June 1867: American Author Mark Twain visits Jerusalem as part of a great trip to the holy land. His travelogue is still referenced in many works on Israel and Zionism.

June 1878: Six European powers, Balkan states and the Ottoman Empire’s leaders met and signed the Treaty of Berlin that aimed to iron out border and jurisdiction rights; the Treaty proclaimed “no alteration can be made in the status quo of the holy places.”

1878: Galician poet Naphtali Herz writes poem “Tikvatenu (Our Hope) becomes ultimately the Zionist anthem with phrase “An eye looks to Zion, our hope is not yet lost, the hope of two thousand years, to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

1887-88: Ottoman area where Palestine will be defined under the British in the 1920s, is divided into the districts of Acre, Nablus, and Jerusalem; it is autonomous and ruled directly by Istanbul

1888: The initiative of Tsar Alexander III, the Russian Orthodox Church completes construction of the iconic Church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem

1899: St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, is built

December 29, 1901: Jewish National Fund is established to finance land acquisition in Palestine.  Yona Krementzky is named first President and opens the organizations first headquarters in Jerusalem in 1907.

1906: Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design established in Jerusalem

December 9, 1917: the British take Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks; it was not a capital of an jurisdiction at the time.

May 1918: Muslim-Christian Association founded in Jaffa, meet next in Jerusalem

July 14, 1918: Cornerstone of Hebrew University in Jerusalem was laid, opening in April 1925

1918-1920: Jerusalem and all of Palestine governed by the British military administration

January 1919: First Palestine Arab Congress with 27 Arab delegates from across Palestine meet in Jerusalem, suggesting that Palestine should be part of Arab Syria.

1920-1948: Jerusalem is governed by British civilian administration as part of British control over the entire area of Palestine. Successive British High Commissioners will govern Palestine from Government House in Jerusalem.

1920: Va’ad Leumi (National Council) established in Jerusalem as the governing body of the Jewish community in British Palestine.

 

March 1920: The Jerusalem committee headed by Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky and Pinchas Rutenberg recruited and trained volunteers in self-defense.  The group was charged with defending the city’s Jews during the Nebi Musa riots which took place the following month.  In June, the Haganah is formally established as a national underground Jewish defense organization.

April 4-7 1920: During a Muslim festival, Muslims and Jews clash in the old city of Jerusalem

December 12, 1920:  The Histadrut (General Federation of Jewish Labor) is established in Haifa. In 1924, a cornerstone is laid for a new headquarters in Jerusalem.

1922: Jerusalem population – 62,500 inhabitants, 34,000 of whom are Jewish

1922: British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel appoints a young member of a prominent Jerusalem family, Hajj Amin al-Husayni to be Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and head of the Supreme Muslim Council that overseas all Muslim affairs in Palestine.

1928: Western Wall Comission made up of a Swedish, Dutch, and Swiss nationals reject the Arab view that Jews have no rights of access or worship at the (western) Wall, and give Jews free access to the Wall for prayer, but can not bring to the wall “appurtences of worship” such as an ark contained the Torah scrolls. The Western Wall is placed under the authority of the Chief Rabbinate established by the British administration.

August 1929: Muslim-Jewish clashes in Jerusalem over rights to the Jewish holy places, ultimately spreading to Hebron and other cities, killing hundreds.

August 12, 1929: The first meeting of the expanded Jewish Agency is held in Zurich.  Conceived as an expanded, more representative body of world Jewry, the Jewish Agency was created to cooperate with the British on matters affecting the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.  In 1930, it moved into its present headquarters on King George Street in Jerusalem.

1933: Following the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany, the Central Zionist Archives are moved from Berlin to the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem.

July 1937: The British Royal Commission (Peel Report) proposes the concept of partitioning Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with a special corridor to include Jerusalem and Bethlehem, for the first time.  The report calls for, “A new Mandate should be instituted to execute the trust of maintaining the sanctity of Jerusalem and Bethlehem and ensuring free and safe access to them for all the world. Safeguarding the holy places was considered a “sacred trust of civilization.”

1946: Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog purchases a piece of land in Jerusalem with the intention of it becoming the location for the Seat of the Chief Rabbinate.

July 22, 1946: King David Hotel blast, 90 plus British administrators and military officials die at the hands of the Jewish underground

November 29, 1947: UN partition resolution passed calling for an Arab and Jewish state, an economic union between them and the internationalization of a Jerusalem-Bethlehem corridor, administered by the UN.

1947-1949 War: Violence around the country, including Jerusalem; acting under orders Arab soldiers looted and dynamited synagogues, and Jewish schools. Some twenty-seven synagogues and thirty schools were destroye.d

1948: Jerusalem population – 165,000 inhabitants, 100,000 of whom are Jewish

April 9, 1948: Arab village, Dir Yassin, a village outside of Jerusalem attacked by Jewish combatants, killing more than 150 Arabs, sending off a shock wave across Palestinian Arab society, causing massive numbers of Palestinians to leave their homes

April 13, 1948: Arab combatants attack Hadassah Medical Convoy killing 79, while British look on.

May-June 1948: With Arab combatants blockading conventional routes into Jerusalem, the Israel Defense Forces build a makeshift, covert route to get vehicles and supplies to the besieged city. The resulting “Burma Road” connected Kibbutz Hulda in the center of Israel to Jerusalem (roughly 40km).

May 13, 1948: Jewish community near Jerusalem, Kfar Etzion is brutalized by the Jordanian Legion, killing 130 Jews.

June 1, 1948: Israeli army builds alternative road to Jerusalem, blocked by Arab combatants.

1949: Independence war aftermath – Jerusalem is divided by fences and barriers until after the June 1967 war; Israel controlled western half of the city or about 38 square kilometers, Jordan controlled the eastern half of the city that included the relatively small Old City of Jerusalem with the most important religious holy sites within it. Israel was not given access to those holy sites.

1949-1967: Following the conclusion of the 1947-49 War, a crossing between Jordanian and Israeli controlled sides of Jerusalem is constructed. The resulting “Mandelbaum Gate” remained until Israel took East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the June 1967 War. In addition to regular diplomatic and supply convoys, Arab-Israeli Christians were allowed to use the crossing to visit Christian holy sites under Jordanian control during Christmas time.

December 1949: The Israeli Cabinet votes to move the majority of Israel’s government institutions from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

1950: Originally founded at The Palestine Post in 1932, the popular English newspaper changes its name to The Jerusalem Post.

January 23, 1950: The Israeli Parliament declares Jerusalem Capital of Israel.  Israel places its major institutions governmental institutions in Jerusalem—parliament, supreme court, governmental offices, and prime minister’s office

April 24, 1950: Jordan officially annexes the West Bank and the part of Jerusalem it conquered in the 1947-1949 War. During Jordan’s nineteen year rule of eastern Jerusalem the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated with thousands of tombstones smashed or removed. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City was trashed by the Jordanian Army.

July 20, 1951: Jordan’s King Abdullah I assassinated in Jerusalem while at Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque, in preparation for further discussion with Israelis about an agreement between their two countries.

August 1951: 23rd Zionist Congress convenes in Jerusalem, first meeting of the organization in Israel since founding in 1897.

July 1953: Israel moves its Foreign Ministry to Jerusalem

1953: Jordanians passed legislation prohibiting Christian charitable and religious institutions from purchasing property for religious purposes; later the law was emended.

1958: Heychal Shlomo, the headquarters of the Rabbinate in Israel, is built in Jerusalem on the plot of land purchased by Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog

October 14, 1958: The corner stone is laid for the current Knesset (parliament) building in Jerusalem. Prior to the building’s completion, Israel’s Knesset convened in the Frumin House in Jerusalem (1950-1966).

January 4, 1964: In the first Papal visit to Jerusalem and first time a pope is ever on an airplane, Pope Paul VI

May 28, 1964: Palestinian National Council convenes in Jerusalem, ends its meetings, stating that its goal is the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle.

May 11, 1966: Israel Museum established in Jerusalem

1967: Jerusalem population – 263,300 inhabitants, 195,700 of whom are Jewish

May 15, 1967: “Jerusalem of Gold” song composed and sung, becomes iconic Israeli song.

June 7, 1967: During the Six Day War between Israel and surrounding Arab states, where Israel took control over the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights, it took control over all of Jerusalem.  After the war, the Vatican abandoned its demand that Jerusalem be internationalized. Moshe Dayan, Israel’s Defense Minister immediately after the war, while claiming sovereignty over the Temple Mount, chose to allow defacto control of it to the Muslim officials ‘absent the breakdown of public order. Controversy exists among Jews about the the right for access, and the right to pray.

An aerial photo of the Western Wall in Jerusalem from June 9, 1967. Photo: GPO Israel.

June 19, 1967: “There must be adequate recognition of the special interest of the three great religions in the Holy Places of Jerusalem,” Remarks by President Lyndon Johnson, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d344

June 28, 1967: The Israeli parliament officially extends Israel’s municipal borders and sovereignty over all of Jerusalem; annexing 70 square kilometers to Israel, and amending its 1950 law which proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

June 28, 1967:  [US Department of State] “The hasty administrative action taken [by Israel] today cannot be regarded as determining the future of the Holy Places or the status of Jerusalem in relation to them.” https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d344

1967: Temple Mount Faithful movement based in Jerusalem made up of Orthodox Jews seek to (re)build the Third Temple. Their efforts greatly antagonize Muslims in Jerusalem.

October 17, 1967:  National Security Council Middle East adviser, “Anyone who fully appreciates Israel’s position knows how hard–maybe impossible–it will be to force Israel back to 4 June lines, especially in Jerusalem.” Memorandum from Harold H. Saunders, National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant, Eugene Rostow: Defining the US Position on ‘territorial integrity’ and borders in the Middle East after June 1967 War

August 21, 1969: fire started in the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem by an evangelical Christian, believing that its destruction would hasten the Second Coming of Jesus

1970: Egyptian Copts and Ethiopian Christians continue the multiple century long dispute about owernship and access to the Deir al-Sultan, a church near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. On Easter night that year, the Ethiopians changed the locks on the monestary!

December 4, 1973: “Liberation of the Arab city of Jerusalem, and rejection of any situation which may be harmful to complete Arab sovereignty over the Holy City.” Arab League Summit Conference Secret Resolutions.

December 22, 1973: Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi, “A peace agreement must include these elements, among others: withdrawals, recognized frontiers, security arrangements, guarantees, a settlement of the legitimate interests of the Palestinians, and a recognition that Jerusalem contains places considered holy by three great religions.” Ismail Fahmi, Egyptian Foreign Minister, Opening Statements at the Geneva Middle East Peace Conference on the Middle East 

December 22, 1973: Jordanian Foreign Minister Zayd al-Rifai, “Arab Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Arab-occupied territory; therefore, Israel is to relinquish its authority over it. Arab sovereignty must be restored in the Arab sector of the city. The Holy Places of all the three divine religions must be preserved, protected, and respected, and free access for the followers of these three religions must be secured and maintained.”  Zayd al-Rifai, Jordanian Foreign Minister, Opening Statements at the Geneva Middle East Peace Conference on the Middle East

June 16, 1974: Richard Nixon becomes first US president to visit Israel and Jerusalem

July 19, 1977: “…Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to President Jimmy Carter, “In Israel there is an almost total national consensus that the city [Jerusalem] shall forever remain in the undivided and eternal capital of the Jewish people. Yet we are not asking the Arabs to accept this position in advance as our condition for going to Geneva [Middle East Peace Conference.” Menachem Begin, First Meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and U.S. President Jimmy Carter

November 20, 1977:  Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in first visit of Arab leader to Israel, addresses the Israeli parliament, “In short then, when we ask what is peace for Israel, the answer would be that Israel lives Within her borders, among her Arab neighbors in safety and security, within the framework of all the guarantees she accepts and which are offered to her. But, how can this be achieved? How can we reach this conclusion which would lead us to permanent peace based on justice? There are facts that should be faced with courage and clarity. There are Arab territories which Israel has occupied and still occupies by force. We insist on complete withdrawal from these territories, including Arab Jerusalem.” Speech by Egyptian President Sadat to the Knesset. https://israeled.org/resources/documents/egyptian-president-anwar-sadat-to-the-israeli-knesset/

1978-79: Sadat wanted the US to pressure Israel to explicitly state that Jerusalem be part of the negotiated areas under discussion surrounding the Egyptian-Israel peace process; Begin would have none of it. Jerusalem did not become an agenda item for any future negotiations.

September 17, 1978: “[President Carter to President Sadat] Dear Mr. President: I have received your letter of September 17, 1978, setting forth the Egyptian position on Jerusalem. I am transmitting a copy of that letter to Prime Minister Menachem Begin for his information. The position of the United States on Jerusalem remains the same as stated by Ambassador Goldberg in the United Nations General Assembly on July 14, 1967, and subsequently by Ambassador Yost in the United Nations Security Council on July 1, 1969. Sincerely, Jimmy Carter,” “[PM Begin to president Carter] Dear Mr. President Jimmy Carter, Thank you for letter of September 17, 1978. I have the honor to inform you, Mr. President, that on June 28, 1967 – Israel’s Parliament (The Knesset) promulgated and adopted a law to the effect: “The Government is empowered by a decree to apply the law, the jurisdiction and administration of the State to any part of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel – Palestine), as stated in that decree.” On the basis of this law, the Government of Israel decreed in July 1967 that Jerusalem is one city indivisible, the true Capital of the State of Israel. Sincerely, Menachem Begin” An exchange of letters – Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin

March 10-13, 1979: President Jimmy Carter goes to Israel to seek conclusion of Egyptian-Israeli Treaty negotiations and sees Israeli political leaders in Jerusalem before returning to Cairo.

March 22, 1979 “Calls once more upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories..” UNSC Resolution 446 US abstains, one week before signing of Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.

March 31, 1979:  “It [Egypt] has thus deviated from the Arab ranks and has chosen, in collusion with the United States, to stand by the side of the Zionist enemy in one trench; has behaved unilaterally in the Arab-Zionist struggle affairs; has violated the Arab nation’s rights; has exposed the nation’s destiny, its struggle and aims to dangers and challenges; has relinquished its pan-Arab duty of liberating the occupied Arab territories, particularly Jerusalem, and of restoring the Palestinian Arab people’s inalienable national rights, including their right to repatriation, self-determination and establishment of the independent Palestinian State on their national soil.” Beirut Arab League Council Resolution on Egypt’s Deviations from Arab Ranks

July 30, 1980: Israeli parliament passes its Fifth Basic Law, this one on Jerusalem. It states “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel; it is the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government and the Supreme Court.  The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings towards those places.   Israel Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel, https://israeled.org/israels-basic-laws/

August 20, 1980:  In response to Israel’s Basic Law on Jerusalem, the UN in Security Council Resolution 478 “condemns Israel’s Basic Law and censures Israeli actions, calls Israel an occupying power of Jerusalem, vote was 14-0 with US abstention,” and it says that “Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,” and “Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.” UN Security Council Resolution 478, which is the last of five UN Security Council Resolutions passed during the Carter administration where it abstained, rather than oppose text of resolutions calling for Israel to cease construction of all settlements in the “Arab occupied territories since 1967, including Jerusalem.” https://israeled.org/resources/documents/un-security-council-resolution-478/ 

1980: The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem is founded by evangelical Christians in support of the Israeli government’s Jerusalem Law

August 6, 1981: Offer by Saudi King Fahd, “Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem… Establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital…” (Principles #2 and #6) The Fahd Plan for an Arab-Israeli Settlement

September 1, 1982: “When the border is negotiated between Jordan and Israel, our view on the extent to which Israel should be asked to give up territory will be heavily affected by the extent of true peace and normalization and the security arrangements offered in return. Finally, we remain convinced that Jerusalem must remain undivided, but its final status should be decided through negotiations.” Reagan Statement on the West Bank and the Palestinians, https://israeled.org/reagan-statement-west-bank-palestinians/#prettyPhoto

February 11, 1985: “The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Liberation Organization have agreed to move together toward the achievement of a peaceful and just settlement of the Middle East crisis and the termination of Israeli occupation of the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem…” PLO Accord with Jordan (Yasir Arafat, PLO and King Hussein, Jordan)

January 5, 1988: “Jerusalem will be internationally recognized as Israel’s capital under any future peace agreements. But Jerusalem is the center of Palestinian aspirations as well. Therefore, a peaceful Jerusalem should remain a unified city, with guaranteed freedom of worship and access, and political arrangements should be found that reflect the nature of the city’s population.” Toward Arab-Israeli Peace: Report of a Study Group, the Brookings Institute

July 31, 1988: “Of late, it has become clear that there is a general Palestinian and Arab orientation which believes in the need to highlight the Palestinian identity in full, in all efforts and activities that are related to the Palestine question and its developments. It has also become obvious that there is a general conviction that maintaining the legal and administrative relationship with the West Bank, and the consequent special Jordanian treatment of the brother Palestinians living under occupation through Jordanian institutions in the occupied territories, goes against this orientation. It would be an obstacle to the Palestinian struggle which seeks to win international support for the Palestine question, considering that it is a just national issue of a people struggling against foreign occupation.” [Jordan’s King Hussein withdraws his country’s legal and administrative ties over the West Bank, except for Jordanian administrative and financial support over the Moslem and Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem] Speech by Jordanian King Hussein on Jordan’s Separation from West Bank

August 18, 1988: “The Arab countries surrounding Israel are requested to open their borders for the Mujahidin of the Arab and Islamic countries so they can take their role and join their efforts with their Muslim brothers of Palestine. As for the other Arabic and Islamic countries, they are asked to ease the movement of Mujahidin from it and to it — that is the least they could do. We shouldn’t lose this opportunity to remind every Muslim that when the Jews occupied immaculate Jerusalem in 1967, they stood on the stairs of the blessed Masjid al-Aqsa loudly chanting: Muhammad has died and left girls behind.” Hamas Charter, Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine

November 15, 1988: “…the PNC declares in the name of God and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people the establishment [qiyam] of the State of Palestine over our Palestinian soil — over our Palestinian soil — and its capital holy Jerusalem… the PNC declares in the name of God and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people, the emergence of the State of Palestine over our Palestinian soil and its capital holy Jerusalem. The State of Palestine belongs to Palestinians wherever they may be…” Speech by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to the Palestine National Council Declaring a State

October 15, 1989: “O masses of our great people, masses of our heroic Arab nation: The continuation of the blessed intifadah and its firmness on the soil of the homeland; the management of the political battle in accordance with the right policy adopted by the PLO leadership on the basis of the PNC resolutions on Algiers; and the Palestinian peace initiative produced by this policy and unleashed by brother President Yasser Arafat in his speech before the United Nations in Geneva opened the way for the group of achievements that were scored. They also led to the growth of national victories toward realizing our peoples’ aims of return, self-determination and the establishment of our independent state, with holy Jerusalem as its capital, on our sacred soil.” Statement by the PLO’s Central Council

March 3, 1990: “My position is that the foreign policy of the United States says we do not believe there should be new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. And I will conduct that policy as if it’s firm, which it is, and I will be shaped in whatever decisions we make to see whether people can comply with that policy. And that’s our strongly held view, and we think it’s constructive to peace-the peace process, too-if Israel will follow that view. And so, there’s divisions in Israel on this question, incidentally. Parties are divided on it. But this is the position of the United States and I’m not going to change that position.” Statement by U.S. President Bush on Jewish Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

January 25, 1991: “Nothing the Palestinians do in selecting the members of this delegation at this stage will affect their demands on East Jerusalem or constitute a precedent or a prejudgment of the results of the negotiations…. The U.S. position is that Jerusalem should never again be a divided city. Its final status should be determined during the negotiations.” U.S. Memorandum of Understanding to Palestinians

March 12, 1991: “Israel should not be allowed to continue to block and foil the UN resolutions on the Palestinians, particularly with regard to the annexation of East Jerusalem, the establishment of settlements, and the expropriation of land and resources. It is vital that the fourth Geneva Convention be applied.” The Eleven-Point Manifesto for Negotiating Outcome and Application of Relevant UN Palestinian Resolutions, Submitted by Palestinians

September 16, 1991: “The United States reaffirms its position that Israel has the right to secure and defensible borders (being aware that the armistice lines of 5 June 1967 are neither secure nor defensible). The borders must be discussed directly with the neighboring states….The United States opposes the idea of a Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan…. Jerusalem will never be re-divided. The United States notes the Israeli position that united Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.” U.S. Memorandum of Agreement to Israel on the Peace Process, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/u-s-memorandum-agreement-israel-peace-process/

October 18, 1991: “The United States understands how much importance Palestinians attach to the question of East Jerusalem. Thus, we want to assure you that nothing Palestinians do in choosing their delegation members in this phase of the process will affect their claim to East Jerusalem, or be prejudicial or precedential to the outcome of negotiations. It remains the firm position of the United States that Jerusalem must never again be a divided city and that its final status should be decided by negotiations. Thus, we do not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem or the extension of its municipal boundaries, and we encourage all sides to avoid unilateral acts that would exacerbate local tensions, or make negotiations more difficult or preempt their final outcome. It is also the United States position that a Palestinian resident in Jordan with ties to a prominent Jerusalem family would be eligible to join the Jordanian side of the delegation.” U.S. Assurances to the Palestinian Delegation to the Madrid Conference

1992: Following 44 years of the Israeli Supreme Court being housed in a temporary, rented building in Jerusalem, the permanent building is completed in the Givat Ram neighborhood. It situated between the Knesset and Ministry of Foreign Affairs buildings.

(L-R) PM Rabin, Preisdent Bill Clinton, and Chairman of the PLO Arafat pictured on September 13, 1993 in Washington. Photo: US Office of the Historian.

September 13, 1993: “It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest… Palestinians of Jerusalem who live there will have the right to participate in the election process, according to an agreement between the two sides….Jurisdiction of the Council will cover the West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, military locations and Israelis.” Oslo Accords [Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements] https://israeled.org/resources/documents/oslo-accords-declaration-principles-interim-self-government-agreements/

September 13, 1993: “It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest… Palestinians of Jerusalem who live there will have the right to participate in the election process, according to an agreement between the two sides….Jurisdiction of the Council will cover the West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, military locations and Israelis.” Oslo Accords [Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements] https://israeled.org/resources/documents/oslo-accords-declaration-principles-interim-self-government-agreements/

December 1993:  Israel and the Vatican sign an accord that leads to mutual recognition and the exchange of ambassadors. The accord notes that “the State of Isralel affirms its continuing commitment to maintain and respect the ‘status quo’ in the Christian holy places…” The Vatican recognizes the PLO in October 1994.

May 10, 1994: “…My brothers, it must be understood that after the Gulf war the main conspiracy was to completely eliminate the Palestinian problem from the international agenda. … Our community in Kuwait, which was one of the largest and richest, was kicked out of Kuwait. Not only that, but later we were presented with the Bush initiative on the Madrid Conference. And, it was not easy to agree to go to Madrid conference, because of its very difficult conditions….The jihad will continue. Jerusalem is not only of the Palestinian people, but of the entire Islamic nation. You are responsible for Palestine and for Jerusalem…. After this agreement you must understand that our main battle is not to get the maximum out of them here and there. The main battle is over Jerusalem, the third most sacred site of the Muslims. Everybody must understand it. Therefore, I insisted before signing (on the Gaza and Jericho agreement in Cairo) to get a letter from the Israelis that Jerusalem is one of the items for discussion in the negotiations. We are not talking about (a discussion of) Israel’s permanent status. No. We are talking about the permanent status of Palestine. It is very important that everybody understand it.” Yasser Arafat Speech on “Jihad” for Jerusalem

October 26, 1994: “…in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy Shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.” Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/israeli-jordanian-treaty-excerpts/

November 1994: Twelve Christian church denominations sign a memorandum, “The Significance of Jerusalem for Christians, calling for the maintenance of the ‘status quo’ in Jerusalem.

January 1995: The Islamic Conference’s Jerusalem Committee opposes Jordan’s role in maintaining the Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem, supporting to transfer power over the holy places to the Palestinian Authority, continuing the angry jockeying for influence over Jerusalem between Jordan and the Palestinians, which began well before Israel was established.

September 18, 1995: “We still carry on our shoulders many other tasks, such as moving toward the permanent status negotiations as soon as possible. The permanent status negotiations will deal with such issues as settlements, the delineation of the borders, the rights of Palestinian refugees as determined by international legitimacy, and the fundamental issue concerning the status of Jerusalem, which our people irrespective of their faith — Muslims, Christians, or Jews — consider to be the heart and soul of their entity and the center of their cultural, spiritual, and economic life. Here, I must note that the sanctity of Jerusalem for us all dictates that we make it the joint cornerstone and the capital of peace between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples inasmuch as it is a beacon for believers all over the world.” Taba Agreement: Speeches by Arab and Israeli Leaders at the Washington Signing Ceremony (Remarks by Yasser Arafat)

October 1995: Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress with an overwhelming 93-5 majority in the Senate and 374-37 in the House, calling on the embassy to move to Jerusalem unless the president uses a waiver for national security reasons.

July 10, 1996: “Since 1967, under Israeli sovereignty, united Jerusalem has, for the first time in two thousand years, become the city of peace. For the first time, the holy places have been open to worshippers from all three great faiths. For the first time, no group in the city or among its pilgrims has been persecuted or denied free expression. For the first time, a single sovereign authority has afforded security and protection to members of every nationality who sought to come to pray there. There have been efforts to re-divide this city by those who claim that peace can come through division — that it can be secured through multiple sovereignties, multiple laws and multiple police forces. This is a groundless and dangerous assumption, which impels me to declare today: There will never be such a re-division of Jerusalem. Never.” Speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu to a Joint Session of the United States Congress

March 21, 2000: In the second Papal visit to Jerusalem ever, Pope John Paul II visits Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites; meets with Israeli politicians and chief Rabbis; and blessed the state of Israel. While visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, he stated ”As bishop of Rome and successor of the Apostle Peter, I assure the Jewish people that the Catholic Church, motivated by the Gospel law of truth and love, and by no political considerations, is deeply saddened by the hatred, acts of persecution and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews by Christians at any time and in any place.”

July 11-25, 2000: As part of the “Camp David II Summit,” the Israeli delegation offered to divide Jerusalem into Jewish and Arab Areas. Under their proposal, Israel would maintain control over the settlement blocks of Kedar, Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, and Gilo. The PA would then gain control of the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat, Kafr Aqab, Issawiya, Wadi Joz, A-Tur, Abu Tor, Beit Safafa, and Sur baher. The Old would be divided between the PA and Israel. Arafat turned the deal down, causing negotiations to halt.

September 28, 2000:  Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon visits the al-Aqsa area and is met by Palestinian protestors, sparking a sporadic Palestinian violence for five years known as the second intifadah. Subsequent research shows PLO leader Yasir Arafat instigated the violence against Israel to coincide with Sharon’s visit.

November 2002: Construction of a new, 225,000-square-foot Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) building is completed. The MFA originally moves to Jerusalem in 1953.

December 23, 2000: “The general principle is that Arab areas [of Jerusalem] are Palestinian and Jewish ones are Israeli. This would apply to the Old City as well. I urge the two sides to work on maps to create maximum contiguity for both sides. Regarding the Haram\Temple Mount, I believe that the gaps are not related to practical administration but to symbolic issues of sovereignty and to finding a way to accord respect to the religious beliefs of both sides.” Clinton Parameters for Negotiating Peace, https://israeled.org/clinton-parameters-negotiating-peace/

March 19, 2001: “I bring you greetings from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people for the past 3000 years, and of the State of Israel for the past 52 years and forever. Jerusalem belongs to all the Jewish people – we in Israel are only custodians of the city. Only under the sovereignty of Israel has Jerusalem been open to all faiths. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the holiest site to the Jewish people, is something you should stand up and speak out about. Jerusalem will remain united under the sovereignty of Israel – forever.” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s address to the AIPAC Policy Conference

March 28, 2002: “…Having listened to the statement made by his royal highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abdullaziz, the crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in which his highness presented his initiative, calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the land for peace principle, and Israel’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel…” Resolution of the 2002 Arab league Summit in Beirut, Known as the “Arab Peace Initiative, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/2002-arab-peace-initiative/

April 30, 2003: “Parties reach final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel-Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on UNSCR 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.” A Roadmap for a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Presented by the Quartet, European Union, United Nations, Russia, and the United States, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/roadmap-permanent-two-state-solution-israeli-palestinian-conflict/

February 8, 2006: “We differ on several issues. And this may include settlement, the release of prisoners, the wall closing, and institutions in Jerusalem. We will not be able to solve all of these issues today, but our positions towards these issues are clear and firm.” Palestinian Authority President Abbas in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt as Part of Joint Statement with Israeli PM Sharon

June 4, 2008: “Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” Speech by Senator Barack Obama at the AIPAC Policy Conference

May 11, 2009: In a Papal visit hailed by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “an important stage in the development of the relationship between the Vatican and Israel, strengthening the dialogue between Christianity, Judaism and Islam, as part of the effort to achieve peace in the region,” Pope Benedict XVI meets with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, likewise visiting Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holy sites, including those in Jerusalem.

June 14, 2009: “Regarding the remaining important issues that will be discussed as part of the final settlement, my positions are known: Israel needs defensible borders, and Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel with continued religious freedom for all faiths.” Speech by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/pm-benjamin-netanyahu-bar-ilan-university/

March 19, 2010: “Recalling that the annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, the Quartet underscores that the status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties and condemns the decision by the Government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem… The Quartet recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and believes that through good faith and negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards this status for people around the world.” Remarks by Quartet Representatives, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Moscow, Russia

March 22, 2010, “And the United States recognizes that Jerusalem – Jerusalem is a deeply, profoundly important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem and safeguards its status for people around the world.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, AIPAC Policy Conference.

May 24, 2014: Marking the 50th anniversary of the first Papal visit to Jerusalem, Pope Francis travels to the holy city as well as other locations, where he meets with Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinians leaders. Throughout his trip, the Pope made numerous pleas for peace in the region.

December 17, 2014 “Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect of international law:…” European Parliament Calls for Recognition of Palestinian Statehood in Context with two States Living Side by Side, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/european-parliament-calls-for-recognition-of-palestinian-statehood-in-context-with-two-states-living-side-by-side/

2015: Jerusalem population  – 857,800 inhabitants, 524,700 of whom are Jewish

March 21, 2016: “But when the United States stands with Israel, the chances of peace really rise and rises exponentially. That’s what will happen when Donald Trump is president of the United States. We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.  And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the State of Israel.” Donald Trump at AIPAC Policy Conference, March 21, 2016.

December 23, 2016:  UNSC Resolution “Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;   Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;  Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations…” UN Security Council Resolution 2334 [The resolution was passed in a 14–0 vote by members of the U.N.], https://israeled.org/resources/documents/text-egyptian-drafted-unsc-resolution-2334-israeli-settlements/

March 26, 2017:  “And know this, after decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” Vice President Mike Pence, AIPAC Policy Conference.

December 6, 2017: “…I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace…. Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque. … This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.”  President Trump’s Speech Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/president-trumps-speech-recognizing-jerusalem-capital-israel/

December 21, 2017  “Affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council..”  UN General Assembly Status of Jerusalem Resolution GA/11995 (128 in favor, 9 against, and 35 abstensions), https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-un-resolution-rejecting-jerusalem-recognition/

 

December 24, 2017