In Summary
  • Jewish Israelis consider Jerusalem to be their 3,000-year-old capital and the inalienable birthright of Jews everywhere.

  • Since the destruction in ancient times of two separate Jewish temples in the city and the exile of the Holy Land's surviving Hebrews, Judaism has looked for a return of its people to their biblical home.

JERUSALEM,

US President Donald Trump was set to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital later Wednesday in a move that would upturn decades of precedent and run counter to international consensus.

The city is revered by three major faiths but mired in political, as well as religious, disputes. Its status is one of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

  • Whose capital?

Jewish Israelis consider Jerusalem to be their 3,000-year-old capital and the inalienable birthright of Jews everywhere.

Since the destruction in ancient times of two separate Jewish temples in the city and the exile of the Holy Land's surviving Hebrews, Judaism has looked for a return of its people to their biblical home.

According to scripture, King David made Jerusalem the capital of a unified kingdom of Israel around 1000 BC.

The city's heavily visited Western Wall is among the last remnants of the second Jewish temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

The Palestinians, who make up about a third of the modern city's population of some 882,000, claim east Jerusalem as the capital of the state to which they aspire. It also has great religious significance for Muslims as it houses the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, Islam's third-holiest site, and the emblematic gold-topped Dome of the Rock.

While Palestinians have been divided in recent years between president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah and Islamist movement Hamas, Jerusalem remains one of their most powerful rallying points for both religious and nationalistic reasons.

The city is also home to the holiest sites in Christianity, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where most Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried.

  • City of controversy 

A 1947 United Nations plan prescribed partitioning British-run Palestine into three separate entities: a Jewish state, an Arab state and a separate enclave, or "corpus separatum", consisting of Jerusalem, nearby Bethlehem and holy places in the vicinity to be under UN control. The proposal was accepted by Zionist leaders but rejected by the Arabs.

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