Jerusalem (=”Yerushaláyim” in Hebrew) ;(=” al-Quds” in Arabic of Israel and its largest city in both population and area, with a population of 763,800 residents over an area of 125.1 km2 (48.3 sq mi) if East Jerusalem is included. Located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea, modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the boundaries of the Old City.
The city has a history that goes back to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism and has been the spiritual center of the Jewish people since c. 1000 BCE, when David the King of Israel first established it as the capital of the Jewish Nation, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city. Jerusalem contains a number of significant Christian sites, and although it is never mentioned explicitly in the Qur`an, Islam regards Jerusalem as its third-holiest city.
Despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometer (0.35 square mile), the Old City is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock and “al-Aqsa” Mosque. The old walled city, a World Heritage site, has been traditionally divided into four quarters, although the names used today—the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters—were introduced in the early 19th century.
The Old City was nominated for inclusion on the List of World Heritage Sites in danger by Jordan in 1982. In the course of its history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.