Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It has been conquered countless times by invading armies, and was once capital of the small Jewish state of Judea (until the Roman Empire expelled them all in 70AD), the Christian crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and a major city of the Ottoman Empire for upwards of 700 years until 1918. For the next two decades it was the administrative capital of the British Mandate of Palestine.
Today both Israel and the Palestinian National Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital - Israel maintains some governmental institutions there - and the State of Palestine ultimately also claims it as its future seat of power.
East Jerusalem is the sector of the city which was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to West Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel. Since the 1967 Arab–Israeli War, East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel. The international community considers the increasing Israeli settlements across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to be illegal under international law. Israel disputes this interpretation.
On 6 December, 2017, the then-U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S.A. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and ordered the relocation of Israel's U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision and praised the announcement. However two days later on 8 December, U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, clarified that Trump's statement "did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem" and "was very clear that the final status, including the borders, would be left to the two parties to negotiate and decide".
Trump's decision was rejected by a majority of world leaders. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on December 7, where 14 out of 15 members condemned it, but the motion was naturally vetoed by the U.S.
- Ancient History Encyclopedia: Jerusalem
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Jerusalem
- Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 Edition: Jerusalem
- Encyclopedia.com: Jerusalem
- Runciman, Steven, A History of the Crusades - The Kingdom of Jerusalem 1000-1187, The Folio Society, London, 1953/1994/2001.