Jerusalem's centrality to the three monotheistic faiths - Islam,
Judaism and Christianity - lent the city its uniqueness, but also
made it the focus of strife throughout history. Jerusalem, today,
remains an issue of contention that is at the core of the
Since their occupation and unilateral annexation in 1967 of the
Arab eastern part of Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities have been
exploiting their position of control in the city in order to change
its image and encourage its Judaization. Successive Israeli
governments adopted this policy, which is underpinned by a twofold
objective: to increase the Jewish population and to concurrently
diminish the number of the Palestinian inhabitants. Jewish
settlements were thus built within the municipal boundaries of
Jerusalem and around it; these are being continuously expanded and
increased, undermining any prospects for compromise over the city.
From zero on the eve of the 1967 war, the number of residents in
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