AP PHOTOS: Jerusalem walls offer glimpse of city's richness





JERUSALEM (AP) - What would Jerusalem be without its walls? Poets have sung of them since ancient times, they are mentioned in the Book of Psalms, and they have shadowed conflicts past and present.

The current golden limestone walls date back to the 16th century. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ordered the iconic ramparts built after his father, Selim the Grim, brought Jerusalem under Turkish rule in 1517.

The city remained under Ottoman rule for 400 years, until British Gen. Edmund Allenby marched through the Jaffa Gate on Dec. 11, 1917, the start of 30 years of British rule.

Over the course of its tumultuous 3,000-year history, Jerusalem's Old City has had many masters, from the ancient Persians and Babylonians all the way up to the modern states of Jordan and Israel. There have been almost as many walls, some torn down by wars or earthquakes.

Today, the 2.5-mile (4 kilometer) circuit around the Old City walls brings visitors face-to-face with Jews, Muslim and Christian Arabs, Armenians, men and women of the cloth and tourists from around the globe.

But the Old City, its walls and its famed religious sites - holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims - are once again at the heart of a renewed conflict. Both Israel and the Palestinians lay claim to the 215 acres (less than one square kilometer) bound by the walls.

Israel captured the Old City, which was part of Jordanian-controlled east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel later annexed the entirety of east Jerusalem, a move which the international community doesn't recognize. Palestinians seek east Jerusalem and the Old City as the capital of their future state.

These conflicting claims have erupted into violence numerous times in the past. On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel's capital, enraging Palestinians and much of the Muslim world. Although Trump said his declaration did not prejudge the outcome of negotiations on the city's final borders, it was seen by the Palestinians as siding with Israel and led to several weeks of violence.

But in the shadow of the walls, day-to-day life flourishes. Families picnic, worshippers pray, hawkers peddle souvenirs and snacks, and artists use the sand-hued stone as their canvas.

Associated Press photographer Oded Balilty looks at daily life along Jerusalem's historic Old City walls.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Pence in Jerusalem pledges embassy move by end of 2019, faces protest
Pence in Jerusalem pledges embassy move by end of 2019, faces protest

US Vice President Mike Pence pledged to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by the end of 2019 on Monday in a speech to Israel's parliament that saw Arab lawmakers expelled after they shouted in protest. As Pence spoke, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas arrived to meet European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, urging them to "swiftly" recognise the state of Palestine. Pence's speech, filled with biblical references and praise of Israel, was greeted with loud applause by Israeli Jewish lawmakers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Modi and Bibi Are Brothers in Arms
Modi and Bibi Are Brothers in Arms

India and Israel won't let ideology get in the way of booming bilateral trade.

The 12th graders taking a stand against Israel
The 12th graders taking a stand against Israel's army

Israel's defense force has long been a mandatory conscription army. Now, teenagers are beginning to resist the social order and stand up to the status quo.

Jordan
Jordan's king says East Jerusalem must be capital of Palestinian state
  • World
  • 2018-01-21 11:51:24Z

Jordan's King Abdullah expressed concern on Sunday over a decision by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying East Jerusalem had to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. In remarks during talks with U.S. Vice Mike Pence in Amman, the king said the only solution

Pence meets Jordan king on trip clouded by Jerusalem move
Pence meets Jordan king on trip clouded by Jerusalem move
  • World
  • 2018-01-21 09:56:13Z

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump's move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a decision that has touched off uneasiness among Arab nations on his first tour of the region.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.