Terminology in the Jerusalem context can be complex and also controversial. Words and their meanings shape narratives. Our Lexicon goes beyond standard definitions and also offers, where applicable, nuanced shades of meanings that matter to Palestinian Jerusalemites.


A traditional folk dance originating from the Levantine region, encompassing countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and parts of Iraq.  

Meaning “stamping of the feet” in Arabic, the Dabke features rhythmic stomping and synchronized movements performed in a line or circle, with dancers holding hands or shoulders. It is often led by a leader who improvises steps. 

This dance is commonly performed at weddings, festivals, and other celebrations, symbolizing community, heritage, resilience, and resistance. 

Damascus Gate

The English name for one of the seven open gates in the wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. See also Bab al-Amud

See The Gates of the Old City for more detailed information.

Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (or DOP)


Islamic phrases, expressions, or prayers that are repeatedly recited in remembrance of God in a form of worship. Translating to “remembrance” or “reminder,” dhikr usually includes supplication from the Quran or from the hadiths. Prayer beads are often used in the process of dhikr. 

District Coordination and Liaison Office (DCO or DCL)

Military coordination offices established in the West Bank and Gaza in 1994 that manage the movement of Palestinians, both within the occupied West Bank and into Israel. Palestinians holding Palestinian Authority IDs must apply for permits from the Israeli military to enter Israel or move between Areas A, B, and C of the West Bank. DCOs were established in each district of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the Israeli military office on one side of each DCO compound and the Palestinian security forces on the other. Final approval on all permit decisions lies with the Israel authorities, the Palestinian side is effectively more of an administrative middleman that merely coordinates between the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian residents, on the one hand, and Israeli authorities, on the other. There are eight DCOs (also called DCLs): Abu Dis, al-Ram, Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jericho.