What Is Jerusalem?
Today’s Jerusalem is a city that remains undefined in any official sense that would be considered legitimate by all its residents. Residents must navigate an imposed labyrinthine maze of borders, jurisdictions, and fragmented spaces that is difficult for non-natives to fathom. Understanding these complexities is the starting point for anyone wanting to grasp the realities faced by Jerusalem’s Palestinians.
Featured in This Topic
Jerusalem photographer May Herbawe takes us atop the roof of Souk Khan al-Zeit in the Old City, as part of our series on Jerusalemites’ favorite places in the city.
A conversation with Adalah’s legal director, Suhad Bishara, about Israel’s plan to relegate the Salah al-Din Street commercial district to irrelevance
A look back at Jerusalem’s rulers since ancient times and the city’s population based on more recent censuses
Matthew Teller’s biography of Jerusalem’s Old City offers history as well as the lived experience of today’s Palestinian residents.
Where is Jerusalem? The answer is a lot more complex and unclear than you might think.
An interactive map of the Palestinian governorate of Jerusalem and its two subdistricts, J1 and J2
The Jerusalem Unplugged podcast speaks with the founding director of Jerusalem Story, Kate Rouhana, about the story behind Jerusalem Story.
An introduction to the applications of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) within the context of the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPT), including East Jerusalem.
The Story in Numbers
Number of times the official Jerusalem municipal boundaries have changed since 1917 
19.2 sq km
The area of the city of Jerusalem under the British Mandate period, 1917–47 
Number of Palestinian localities that Israel unilaterally incorporated into the city upon expanding the municipal boundaries in 1967 to add areas on the (Arab) eastern side of the city that had not previously belonged to it 
70 sq km
Newly expanded area of East Jerusalem after Israel unilaterally expanded the boundaries in June, 1967, de facto annexing an additional 64 sq km to East Jerusalem from the original 6 sq km, including many Palestinian villages that had not previously been in the city 
126.4 sq km
The total area of the city of Jerusalem today 
440 sq km
The area of “Greater Jerusalem,” the expanded, Jewish-majority Jerusalem that Israel envisions and is rapidly developing 
Number of times the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have been consulted or given an opportunity to influence where the official municipal boundaries of Jerusalem should be 
1. See Table 1 in Where Is Jerusalem?.
2. See Table 1 in Where Is Jerusalem?.
3. See Table 1 in Where Is Jerusalem?.
4. See Table 1 in Where Is Jerusalem?.
5. See Table 1 in Where Is Jerusalem?.
6. See Israel’s Vision of a Greater [Jewish] Jerusalem
7. See Where Is Jerusalem?.
A collection of 44 essays and poems brings to life the voices of Jerusalem’s indigenous Palestinian community and the visitors who encountered them.
The Status Quo agreement on Jerusalem’s holy sites, enacted in the Ottoman era, seeks to prevent conflict between religious groups. Increasingly, it is being violated.