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Jerusalem 01 Nov Far-right president-elect vows to fulfill his promise in an interview with Israeli newspaper 'Israel Hayom'. Palestine 18 Oct Palestinians say decision to merge embassy and consulate legitimises Israeli occupation. Occupied West Bank 16 Oct At least three bulldozers enter Palestinian Bedouin village, home to people, before a planned demolition.

Special series 16 Oct Israeli—Palestinian conflict 16 Oct Israeli—Palestinian conflict 05 Oct Bedouin children from Khan al-Ahmar stage sit-in in Jerusalem, protesting against imminent demolition of their village. Middle East 04 Oct Palestine 29 Sep Jerusalem 28 Sep Palestinians now see US 'with new eyes' and it is no longer a fair mediator in the peace process, says Abbas.

Donald Trump 18 Sep Jerusalem 06 Sep Foreign minister's announcement comes as new President Mario Abdo Benitez looks to reset country's Middle East policy.

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Jerusalem 17 Aug Closure comes after police say they shot dead Palestinian who tried to stab group of Israeli police officers. Jerusalem is exceptionally rich in birdlife, which includes 70 resident species and about winter visitors.

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Those most commonly seen are the hooded crow, jay, swift which nests in old walls and buildings , and bulbul. Large flocks of white storks overfly the city. In the winter, starlings and white wagtails roost in the thousands at various points in the metropolitan area.

Old City (Jerusalem)

However, goldfinches and linnets, formerly numerous, now rarely appear. Also often observed within the city are the lesser kestrel and the Palestinian sunbird. The only venomous snake is the Palestine viper, but this is rarely seen in urban areas. The smooth lizard and common chameleon frequent gardens and the walls of houses. The Old City , which is believed to have been continuously inhabited for almost 5, years, forms a walled quadrilateral about 3, feet metres long on each side.

The rest of the area within the walls is a typical Middle Eastern city, with its mosques and madrasahs Muslim religious colleges ; its churches, convents, hospices, and residences of high ecclesiastical dignitaries; its synagogues and yeshivas Talmudic academies ; its hidden courtyards and gardens; and its medieval vaulted triple bazaar in the centre and labyrinth of smaller souks along David Street, which leads from Jaffa Gate and the old Ottoman Citadel toward the Temple Mount. The first neighbourhoods outside the Old City walls, built from the s onward, were scattered chiefly along the main roads from the west and northwest leading into the city.

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These early Jewish suburbs were paralleled by non-Jewish expansion prompted by Christian religious or nationalistic motivation. The latter included the Russian Compound on the meydan old Turkish parade ground , near what is today the commercial heart of west Jerusalem; the German Colony, near what became the railway station; and the American Colony, north of the Damascus Gate.

The old campus of the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus, northeast of the Old City, formed for some 20 years —67 an Israeli exclave in the Jordanian sector; it was entirely rebuilt after the Six-Day War. Some Arab districts, such as Talbieh and Katamon Gonen , whose residents fled during the fighting of —48, are now Jewish neighbourhoods, and thousands of houses were built for new Jewish immigrants in districts to the west, newly incorporated into the city.

Since large new housing developments for Jews have been built on the southern, eastern, and northern edges of the city, both within and beyond the extended city boundary. Their construction on territory claimed by both Israelis and Arabs has given rise to repeated confrontations and controversy. Meanwhile, construction of housing for Arabs within the city has been severely limited, which has resulted in large-scale ribbon development of Arab housing, particularly along the road leading north to Ramallah.

There is a great variety of housing in the city. In the Old City are antiquated buildings constructed of ancient stones; 19th-century Jewish neighbourhoods, some of which have declined into slums; modern quarters with tree-lined streets; and government-built housing projects, mainly for new immigrants.

The most common basic dwelling unit in the Old City consists of a complex of structures, often on different levels, built around an inner court that is entered through a narrow corridor. Since the government has taken steps to facilitate slum clearance, and the Jewish quarter in the Old City and many older neighbourhoods in the New City have been restored and gentrified for Jewish inhabitants.

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Average housing density is higher among Arabs about 1. The outstanding characteristic of the architecture of Jerusalem is the coexistence of old and new, sacred and secular, in a variety of styles. The Old City may be entered through any of seven gates in the wall: An eighth gate, the Golden Gate , to the east, remains sealed, however, for it is through this portal that Jewish legend states that the messiah will enter the city.

The Jaffa and Damascus gates are still the main entrances. The city wall remains intact and unbroken, save for a gap immediately next to the Jaffa Gate that was cut by the Ottoman authorities in to facilitate the grand entrance of Emperor William II of Germany on the occasion of his visit to the city. On three sides of the Temple Mount, parts of the original supporting walls still stand. Since the wall has been further exposed, and a large plaza has been cleared in front of it. The main buildings on the platform are two Islamic structures: The large number of churches mainly represent two great periods of Christian architecture, the Byzantine and Crusader eras.

The former is characterized by two- or three-tiered ornamental or basketlike carved capitals. The Crusader architecture reflects Romanesque styling, which features semicircular arches and barrel vaults. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre incorporates elements of both styles, but its facade and layout are architecturally Romanesque.

The best example of the mixed style is the Church of St. Anne its substructure is Byzantine ; others are the Armenian Cathedral of St. James, which combines Romanesque with Oriental elements, and the Tomb of the Virgin, which is Romanesque in its upper part but Byzantine in its lower. The central part of the triple bazaar, as well as its link with the Cardo a restored Roman-Byzantine mall , is of Crusader origin.

The restored Monastery of the Cross, in the heart of modern west Jerusalem, dates originally from the 5th century. As Jerusalem spread outside the walls, its architecture came to be characterized chiefly by iron beams and red-tiled roofs. From there was a radical change, and flat roofs and reinforced concrete faced with naturally dressed stone predominated. The arrival of a number of German Jewish architects, refugees from Nazism, reinforced the trend toward modernism. In the period between and much of the residential construction in the Israeli sector took the form of standardized, high-density apartment blocks.

Since design and construction standards have improved. Buildings are seldom taller than eight stories, but since there has been a growing tendency, despite opposition, for high-rise construction. This is the case with a number of modern hotels at the western entrance to the city, and the construction of office buildings in the city centre is following the trend. All buildings, however, must follow a city ordinance—originally issued by Colonel later Sir Ronald Storrs , British governor of the city from to —requiring that all buildings be faced in stone.

With only a few exceptions, the ordinance has been enforced continuously since the s. Religious buildings remain a prominent part of the urban scene.

Because Jerusalem is a holy city, uniquely revered by the three major monotheistic religions, its people have traditionally been classified according to religious affiliation. Muslims are the most homogeneous of the communities, and Christians—who are represented by numerous sects and churches—are the most diversified. Residential segregation is the norm, and Jews and Arabs live almost exclusively in specific districts.

Among the Jews there is a further subdivision of residential districts among ultraorthodox, traditional, and secular Jews, and Armenian Christians likewise form their own enclave in the Old City.

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Muslims are the most ethnically homogeneous group, being very nearly all Arabs. The Christian community is somewhat more diverse. Jews from every part of the Diaspora have settled in the city, adding to the extant Jewish community. Although the political conflict over the fate of the city and the broader region often has been shrouded in religious overtones, it has largely taken the shape of competing national aspirations—one Jewish Israeli and the other Palestinian Arab—and these two groups form the major political and demographic blocs within the modern city.

Of no less importance is the division between the Orthodox and the more secular-minded segments of the population. Secular, traditional, and ultraorthodox groups each constitute roughly one-third of the Jewish population. Religious controversy plays a large part in local politics, and disputes often erupt over issues such as Sabbath observance or kashruth dietary law.

Some ultraorthodox neighbourhoods are barred to traffic on the Sabbath. Jerusalem is the centre of Jewish religious reverence and aspiration.

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The most sacred spot is the Temple Mount, on which many Orthodox Jews refrain from setting foot for fear of profaning the sanctity of the site where once stood the most sacred Holy of Holies. In addition to the Western Wall—the most important centre of prayer and pilgrimage—other holy places include the reputed tomb of King David on Mount Zion , the Mount of Olives with its ancient Jewish cemetery, and the tombs of priestly families in the Valley of Kidron. Old synagogues and study houses in the Old City have been refurbished; particularly worthy of mention is the interconnected group of four synagogues begun in the 16th century by Jews exiled from Spain.

Notable modern religious structures include the Jerusalem Great Synagogue and the synagogue and associated institutions of the followers of the Rebbe of Belz, a Hasidic rabbi whose court is in Jerusalem. Muslims formed only a minority of the Arab population of Jerusalem in the first decade of the 20th century, but by the early 21st century they outnumbered Christians by an overwhelming margin. Almost all are Sunni Muslims. Unlike the hajj, the pilgrimage to Jerusalem is undertaken individually at any time of the year.

The festival, which was always timed to coincide with Easter celebrations, was at one time the largest mass pilgrimage in Palestine and played an important part of the religious ritual of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Since the Palestinian Authority PA has come to exercise effective control over all Muslim institutions, religious courts, and appointments to religious office in east Jerusalem.

Christians constitute the smallest but most religiously diverse section of the population. They number some 15,, of whom about four-fifths are Arabs. Jerusalem is the seat of three resident patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox churches and of many archbishops and bishops, and almost all the principal historic sects of Christendom are represented in the city in some form. Although the laity and parish clergy are mainly Arab, the patriarch, bishops, and regular clergy are almost all Greek.

The patriarchate owns large tracts of valuable real estate both in Jerusalem and elsewhere. The Russian Orthodox Church too owns considerable properties dating to tsarist times. The Roman Catholic Church in Jerusalem, established in during the First Crusade, was dissolved when the Muslims won the city in