The holy city of the Jews, sacred also to Christians and Muslims, lying in the Judaean hills about 30 km (20 miles) from the River Jordan; population 763,600 (est. 2008).
The city was captured from the Canaanites by King David of the Israelites (c.1000 BC), who made it his capital. As the site of the Temple, built by Solomon (957 BC), it became the centre of the Jewish religion. Since then it has shared the troubled history of the area—destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC and by the Romans in AD 70, and fought over by Saracens and Crusaders in the Middle Ages. Between the 16th century and the First World War Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire. From 1947 the city was divided between the states of Israel and Jordan until the Israelis occupied the whole city in June 1967 and proclaimed it the capital of Israel, although it is not recognized as such by the United Nations. Jerusalem is revered by Christians as the place of Christ's death and resurrection, and by Muslims as the site of the Dome of the Rock