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.

The Story in Numbers


Number of times the official Jerusalem municipal boundaries have changed since 1917 [1]

19.2 sq km

The area of the city of Jerusalem under the British Mandate period, 1917–47 [2]


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 [3]

70 sq km

Area that Israel unilaterally added to the city when it expanded the boundaries dramatically after occupying Arab East Jerusalem in 1967, de facto annexing many Palestinian villages that had not previously been in the city [4]

126.4 sq km

The total area of the city of Jerusalem today [5]

440 sq km

The area of “Greater Jerusalem,” the expanded, Jewish-majority Jerusalem that Israel envisions and is rapidly developing [6]


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 [7]


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?.

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