Jerusalem (pop. 544,200), capital (since 1980) and largest city of Israel. It stands on a ridge west of the Dead Sea, 35 mi (56 km) from the Mediterranean. The city may date from the 4th millennium B.C. In c.1000 B.C. King David captured it from the Jebusites and made it his capital. The great Temple was built by David's son Solomon in 970 B.C. David's dynasty was ended in 586 B.C. by the invasion of King Nebuchadnezzar, who sacked the Temple and deported most of the Jews to Babylon. Cyrus II of Persia allowed the Jews to return and the Temple was rebuilt. Jerusalem was subsequently ruled by Syria, the Roman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire. It was taken over by the Muslims in 637 and has been part of the Muslim world ever since, except for a period of rule by the Crusaders (1099–1187). The 1947 UN resolution establishing the state of Israel made it an international city, but in the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict it was divided, the Old City being under Jordanian administration, the New City under Israeli rule. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel took the Old City, and all of Jerusalem was placed under unified administration. There are traditional Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim quarters in the Old City, which is also the site of three of Jerusalem's holiest places: the Wailing Wall (Jewish); the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Christian); and the Dome of the Rock (Muslim).
See also: Israel.