Reuniting Jerusalem in 1967

October 11th 2013

Ammunition Hill JerusalemWhen Israel became a state in 1948, the city of Jerusalem was divided in two. Israel had dominion over the western sections of the Holy City, while eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City, was in Jordanian hands. This all changed during the Six Day War of 1967, when Israel reunified the city. Today, the sites of major significance in the reunification serve as major attractions to tourists visiting from overseas.

For 19 years, many of the holiest sites in Jerusalem were not accessible to tourists visiting Israel, but today, under Israeli administration, all of the major the sites are open. Here are some important destinations associated with the miraculous reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.

The liberation of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount was one of the most enduringly dramatic moments of the Six Day War. Also known as the Wailing Wall and the Kotel, the Western Wall is actually the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount. When the Temple stood, this wall was closest to the Holy of Holies. It is widely considered the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people and is an extremely popular tourist destination. The Temple Mount is a large, flat mountaintop where the two Temples once stood. Today, the Muslim al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock dominate the Temple Mount.

Historically Jerusalem’s main Ashkenazi place of worship, the Hurva Synagogue was destroyed during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. It was returned to Jewish hands in 1967 and was rebuilt and rededicated in 2010.

The Mount of Olives, adjacent to the Old City, has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3000 years –  except between 1948 and 1967. After 1967, the Israeli government reopened the cemetery for burials. It is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world.

Ammunition Hill is the site of a major battle in 1967. Thirty-six Israeli soldiers were killed in the standoff at these tranches. Today, Ammunition Hill is a memorial site and museum that tells the story of the fierce battle fought there in 1967.

Between 1948 and 1967, Mount Scopus was a UN-protected Israeli enclave in the midst of Jordanian territory. Today, it’s open to visitors wishing to tour Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s main campus and Hadassah Hospital.

The Museum on the Seam prides itself on using art to raise awareness of and creative thinking about controversial social issues. It is located in a building that served as an army outpost on the border between Israel and Jordan until the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.