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Jerusalem's name was restored early in the 4th century as a Christian city, and although still banned, the Jewish people were granted permission to visit. During this period, the Western Wall of the temple became a sacred place.

Around the year 634, Arabs came into rule, pushing out the Byzantine Empire, and lifting the ban on Jews living in Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock shrine was constructed on the Temple Mount in 691, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque followed shortly after.

Arab rule ended with the onset of the crusades, as both Muslims and Jews were killed or sold into slavery, and the area became a front seat to the Mongol invaders and Mamluks of Egypt.

After the end of the Crusades in 1291, the Mamluks commanded the region until 1517, when Turkish Sultan Selim II gained control, and incorporated the area into a province of Syria for the next 400 years.

The Jews finally began to see relief during the 18th and 19th centuries with the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, and the Haskalah movement. However, much of the Jewish population was still restricted to what was known as the Pale of Settlement, a part of Imperial Russia, despite the change in anti-Jewish prejudice.

At the emergence of the Zionist movement in the early 1900s, thousands of Jews migrated into Palestine, and measures were set into place to establish a permanent, more secure Jewish state.

By decree, on May 14, 1948, an agreement between the Jews and Arabs to partition Palestine, and later recommended by a special committee of the United Nations in 1947, was the force that formed the official State of Israel.

The agreement was later rejected by the Arabs, as it conflicted with their long-held historical ties to Palestine.

On June 5, 1967, Israel instigated a pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. During this Six-Day War, Israel was successful in conquering the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

As the Jews observed Yom Kippur in October of 1973, the Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a surprise attack against Israel; however the country was successful in resisting the forces.

Despite the victory, the public grew angry with Prime Minister Golda Meir, forcing her to resign.

Israel's Information

Flag of Israel
Land Area 20,330 km2
Water Area 440 km2
Total Area 20,770km2 (#149)
Population 8,174,527 (#98)
Population Density 402.09/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Democracy
GDP (PPP) $297.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $34,800
Currency Shekel (ILS)
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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.