Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jerusalem History Timeline

Jerusalem History Timeline


Jerusalem is mentioned as Urusalim in the Amarna letters (tablets) discovered at a place called Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. The letter from Abdi-Heba, king of the city, is warning an Egyptian pharaoh about the potential invasion by Habiru. Ancient Israelites were believed to belong to nomadic Habiru tribes


A new ethnic group called the Jebusites appears  in Jerusalem and names it Jebus. They build massive guard towers and system of tunnels around the Gihon Spring, the only available water source in the area, 


King David captures Jerusalem and establishes it as the Capital of United Kingdom of Israel. He brings in the Ark of the Covenant, thus greatly enhancing religious and political eminence of the city


King Solomon builds a Temple, which becomes the principal center for religious and spiritual life of Israel. It is situated at the place were Abraham is believed was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac


Israelite Kingdom is divided into Israel and Judah. Jerusalem becomes the capital of Judah


Assyrians conquer northern kingdom of Israel. King Sargon II exiles 10 of the 12 Israelite tribes and brings in the foreigners to take their place


Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, seized Jerusalem deposing king Jehoiakin and imprisoning him in Babylon


Nebuchadnezzar II conquers Judah, destroys the Temple and exiles Jews to Babylon


Persian king, Cyrus the Great, conquers the Babylonian Empire and allows Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple. Around 43.000 Jews go back to the Promised Land. He also returns to the Jews the Holy Vessels stolen by Nebuchadnezzar 


Zerubbabel, the bodyguard of Persian king Darius I, travels to Jerusalem with thousands of Jews. The newly arrived reinvigorate the work on the Second Temple which is completed after 23 years  


Neheimaiah, the Babylonian Jew, hears the sad story about Jerusalem from the two  travelers. They tell him how once mighty city walls are torn down and how the neighboring tribes pillage the city and kill the inhabitants. Neheimaiah with the blessing of the king Xerxes I travels to Jerusalem with many of his countrymen and rebuilds the city walls


Ezra the Scribe, the scholar and the leader of the Judean community in Babylon, travels to Jerusalem and initiates the religious reforms and public readings of Torah which becomes the official law of the land


Alexander the Great defeats Darius III king of Persia, conquers Jerusalem


Alexander the Great dies in Babylon. His generals fight for succession. Ptolemy takes control of Egypt and Judea and Seleucus ends up with Syria and Asia Minor


Ptolemy the I captures Jerusalem, but the battle over Jerusalem between the Ptolemies and Seleucids lasts for 125 years 


Antiochus the III, the Seleucid, defeats the Ptolemies and adds Judea with Jerusalem to his empire. He begins the efforts to force Jews abandon monotheism in favor of the Greek paganism 


Antiochus the IV Epiphanes continues his father's polices and begins the religious persecution. He outlaws the Sabbath and the circumcision and desecrates the Temple by erecting the altar to Zeus and allowing the sacrifices of pigs


Jewish priest called Mattathias kills one of the enforcing officers and with his five sons leads the revolt against Antiochus


Son of Mattathias, Judah Maccabee, liberates Jerusalem from Seleucid rule and restores the Temple. This event is commemorated by the holiday called Chanukah. After 500 years Jews again rule Judea and Jerusalem. Their rule will last for 80 years and will become to be known as Hasmonian Period


Roman general Pompey captures Jerusalem and appoints Hyrcanus II as a High Priest. He enters Holy of Holies but is disappointed to find it empty 


Hasmonian king Antigonus with the help Parthians (Persians) temporarily takes Jerusalem back from Romans


Herod the Great is appointed by Romans as a client king and with the help of Roman general Mark Anthony retakes Jerusalem and names it capital of Judea. He marries Mariamme the Hasmonian and thus becomes the legitimate heir to the throne


Herod embarks on a massive building campaign to enlarge and improve the Temple Mount. He builds it in Greco-Roman style in order to please his Roman overlords. He spares no funds and the end result is a magnificent complex of buildings that became known far beyond the walls of Jerusalem.

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Pontius Pilate is appointed as a procurator of Judea overseeing the political activities of the state


Pontius Pilate orders the crucifixion of  Jesus. This event gives birth to Christianity


Tension grows amongst the population due to the widespread corruption and abuses by Roman appointed administrators. Emergence of the Zealot movement. These events lead to the First Jewish Revolt that grew into full scale war


Roman general Titus takes Jerusalem after a two year  siege. Roman soldiers run through the city burning houses and killing anyone in sight. Temple is burnt and it's treasury and sacred vessels are stolen and taken to Rome


Fall of fortress Masada, where the remnants of the Jewish insurgency held up for three years. When Romans enter the fortress they find all defenders dead. They committed mass suicide preferring death to Roman justice


Second Jewish Revolt led by Simon Bar Kochba whom an influential Rabbi Akiva proclaimed to be a Messiah. The suspicion on the part of many Jews that new Roman emperor Hadrian has plans to built a temple to Jupiter in place where Jewish temple once stood is named one of the many reasons for revolt


Majority of Bar Kochba followers are ether killed or dispersed. Jews are banished and are not allowed to visit the Holy City under the threat of death. Hadrian is rebuilding Jerusalem and renames it Aelia Capitolina. He made anti-religious decrees forbidding Torah study, Sabbath observance, circumcision, meeting in synagogues and other rutual practices


Emperor Constantine completes the building of the church of Holy Sepulcher to underline the Roman empire's adoption of Christianity


Roman Emperor Julian, nicknamed Apostate, allows Jews to return to Jerusalem and attempts to rebuild the Temple but an earthquake puts an end to the reconstruction 


Persians take Jerusalem from Byzantium and briefly hand over the city to the  Jews, but later restore it back to the Christians


Byzantine emperor Heraclius recaptures Jerusalem from Persians but the war exhausts both empires and opens up the door to Muslim conquest


Forces of Islam explode out of Arabia and under the leadership of the second caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab conquer Jerusalem. Muslim rulers allow religious freedom and guarantee the respect of the holy sites. 200 Jewish families kicked out by Byzantines are allowed to return


Dome of Rock is built by Caliph Abdel-Malik on the top of the ruins of the Jewish Temple. Its regarded by the Muslims as the departure point of Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey. Jews and Christians believe it's the site of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. It is also the most likely time when the Golden Gate, the main entrance to the Temple Mount, was sealed off in order to prevent the fulfillment of the Zachariah's prophecy about the arrival of the Jewish Messiah


Seljuk Turks take Jerusalem away from Fatimids. Few years later when the rebellion broke out against them, the Seljuk general Atsiz stormed Jerusalem and allowed its inhabitants to be massacred 


Answering the call of the Pope Urban II to liberate the Holy Land, the army of Christian pilgrims and the knights conquers Jerusalem. 30000 Muslims and Jews are slaughtered within three days of carnage. The local Christian population is expelled. Kingdom of Jerusalem is established with Holy City as it's capital


Saladin captures Jerusalem from Crusaders after he won the battle of Hattin. Not one Christian is killed.  Allows Crusaders  to leave by paying a nominal ransom. Jews are permitted to resettle in Jerusalem


Pope Gregory the VII orders another  crusade to recapture Jerusalem. Richard the Lionhart and king Phillip II of France lead the 3rd crusade, but Saladin is able to defend the city. Richard comes near enough to see Jerusalem but has to turn back without ever entering it


Under the the threat of excommunication by the Catholic Church, Frederic II the Holy Roman Emperor of Europe is forced to lead the sixth crusade to liberate the Holy City. He signs the treaty with Egyptian sultan Al-Kamil. Muslims retain Temple Mount but Christians gained full access to their religious shrines


Jerusalem is sacked by Khwarazmian Turks who were summoned to Palestine by Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt. They kill Christians and violate the shrines including the church of Holy Sepulcher 


Turan Shah, an Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, is murdered and replaced by his Mamluk slave-general Aibek, who founded the Mamluk dynasty. Mamluks show no great interest in Jerusalem. They do not even attempt restoring the walls of the City destroyed by Ayyubids in 1219CE


Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, also known as Nachmonidies or Ramban, comes to Jerusalem after being exiled from Christian Spain. He finds only two Jewish families in the entire city. He turns an old house into the synagogue that becomes a center of the Jewish life in the Mamluk Jerusalem


Under the Mamluk rule Jerusalem is made a subject to Damascus. Citadel is restored. Jerusalem is considered a place of exile for the Mamluk officials who have fallen out of favor. Jews are moved to the area known today as a Jewish Quarter. Jews and Christians are subjected to the heavy taxation. Access to Temple Mount is forbidden to both religions


Spanish Army defeats the Muslim forces in Granada and on July 30th 200,000 Jews are expelled from Spain under orders of king Ferdinand and queen Isabella. Thousands are forced to convert into Christianity under the plan devised by Spanish Inquisition. Tens of thousands die while trying to reach the safety in other countries. Some of the refugees make it to Jerusalem


Selim the Cruel captures Jerusalem after an Ottoman army defeats the Mamluks at Marj-Dabik in northern Syria. Thus begins an Ottoman period in Jerusalem history that would last for four hundred years


Ottoman ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent, embarks on the major reconstruction of Jerusalem. He begins the rebuilding of city walls including the 7 gates and the Tower of David. Ottoman rule spreads the sense of security that results in increased Christian and Jewish pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Economic growth of Jerusalem follows


Sultan Selim II comes to power. Ottoman authorities institute the practice of allowing the private person to purchase the right to collect taxes. This leads to abuse of power, extortions and widespread corruption. By 1625 Jerusalem is brought down to complete economic collapse


Ottoman Empire is severely weakened and European powers play an ever increasing role in Jerusalem affairs. Conflicts erupt over the control of the church of Holy Sepulcher and other Holy Places between the French and Venetians against the competing Greek Orthodoxy


Jerusalem is conquered by the Egyptians, the former subjects of Ottoman Empire. Ibrahim Pasha, son of Mohammed Ali, introduces new laws that prohibit the discriminations against non-Muslims. Four Sephardic Synagogues in the Jewish Quarter are renovated. Jews are allowed to pray at the Western Wall


Fearing that the equal rights for all citizens of Jerusalem will infringe on their privileges, the Muslim population is rising up in rebellion. Ibrahim Pasha needs the force of his entire army to crush the uprising


Ottoman Empire takes Jerusalem back, but is forced to adhere to the rules implemented by Egyptians as European powers demand the concessions and get them


The Crimean War breaks out as a result of a quarrel between the Russian Orthodox monks and the French Catholics over who had precedence over the Holy Places in Jerusalem and Nazareth.  England and France defeat Russians at the battle of Sevastopol. As a result they win more concessions from their allies, the Ottoman rulers of Jerusalem


Jerusalem becomes an independent province and reports directly to Istanbul. Non-Muslim residents are allowed to purchase the property. Jews now make up sixty per cent of the population and Jewish Quarter expends


British conquer Egypt and establish themselves as a political power in the region. Assassination of Russian tsar  Alexander II is followed by vicious attacks (pogroms) against the Jewish population of Russia. Many Russian Jews emigrate to Palestine. Some settle in Jerusalem


First Zionist congress held in Basel, Switzerland in the  aftermath of the Dreyfus affair in France. Theodore Herzl and some other Jewish leaders come to realization of impending catastrophe for Jews of Europe and are looking for a place to resettle. Eventually Palestine, the historical homeland, is chosen as such place

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In wake of fresh pogroms in Russia a new wave of Jewish refugees comes to Palestine. Large proportion of them are socialist pioneers


World War I breaks out. Ottoman Turkey sides with Germans against French and British


Turks perpetrate a genocide against Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. Over a million people are killed and another million are forced into exile. Some refugees make it to Jerusalem and settle in the Armenian Quarter


British under the command of General Allenby capture Jerusalem from Turks. Mayor of Jerusalem Salim al-Husaini borrows a white flag and surrenders the city to couple of British scouts. Allenby promises to protect the religious freedom for all three faiths. Balfour Declaration is issued in which the British Government "views with favor an establishment in Palestine of a national home for Jewish people"


Arabs begin to riot during the Muslim Holiday of Nebu Musa. Arab rioters storm the Jewish Quarter killing Jews and smashing stores. The Jerusalem police sides with rioters. British Authorities forbid Jews to organize defenses. San Remo conference assigns mandate for Palestine to Britain 


Haj Amin El-Husseini is appointed to the post of Jerusalem mufti. This angers Jewish residents as El-Husseini was one of the leaders of 1920 riots that took a lot of Jewish lives


An incident sparks Arab riots against Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed. 133 Jews are  killed. British police kills 110 Arabs


Jerusalem is rapidly expanding beyond the Old City. King David Hotel is established


Arab Revolt rocks Palestine and does not abate till spring of 1939. Rebels attack  Jewish and British targets. Jerusalem suffers greatly. Rebels have temporary control of the city in 1938. British Authorities use stern measures to deal with the uprising


Peel Committee recommends the partition of the country between Arabs and Jews with Jerusalem to be left under the permanent control of the British Mandate. Jews reluctantly accept the deal in lieu of the deteriorating conditions in Europe. Arabs flatly reject it 


Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj-Amin El-Husseini and Arab High Committee are exiled by British. While in exile El-Husseini allies himself with Adolph Hitler. Shook up by the Arab Revolt, British issue a White Paper that rejects the findings of the Peel Committee and severely restricts Jewish immigration and the land purchase. Instead it recommends a one state solution. World War II breaks out. Nazis embark on the mass scale extermination campaign of Jewish population of Europe


World War II ends. Thousands of former concentration camp prisoners flee to Palestine despite the efforts of British Government to stop them at any cost. The relationship between the Jews and British Mandatory Administration is at its worst.


On November 29th the United Nations votes in favor of partition of Palestine into autonomous Arab and Jewish states. A special committee is formed to work out a special status given to Jerusalem as an international entity. Jews agree to the resolution. Arabs reject it. Almost immediately after UN resolution, Arabs break through the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem and attack Jewish commercial center on Ben-Yehuda street. Jewish defense force called Haganah retaliates


On May 14th, the day before the British Mandate is terminated,  Jews proclaim the Declaration of Independence. New state is called Israel. Celebration is very short lived as the newborn state is attacked by the combined Arab armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. In July a truce is arranged by UN. A year later under Armistice Agreement, Jerusalem is divided between Israel, who now controls West Jerusalem, and Jordan who is in control of Eastern part of the city that includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall


East Jerusalem is neglected by Jordanian authorities. Government offices are moved from Jerusalem to Amman. Muslim population, now called Palestinians, is extremely unhappy with the King Abdullah of Jordan who in April is assassinated at Al Aqsa Mosque by the Palestinian gunman


Jordanians embark on renovation of Holy Places in East Jerusalem, while Israel is busy building up West Jerusalem. President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi is moving his offices there from Tel Aviv. Israelis plan to make West Jerusalem their capital


Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichman, a chief of operations for Hitler's program of extermination of Jews, is brought to Israel and prosecuted in Jerusalem courtroom. He is the only person in the history of Israel to get a death sentence


First  Arab summit in Cairo decides to establish a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Palestinian National Council  meets for the first time in East Jerusalem


President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser moves 100.000 troops into Sinai and kicks out UN peacekeepers. He also blockades the Strait of Tiran effectively paralyzing Israeli shipping. King Hussain of Jordan joins Nasser and signs a military agreement with Egypt. Israel expecting the worst initiates a preemptive strike and Six Day War begins. Israel captures Sinai, West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. For the first time since 1948, Jews can pray at the Western Wall. Free access to all religions to all holy sites is allowed


On October 6th Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Initially the Arabs have some success, but after three weeks of fighting and re-supplied by US with ammunition, Israelis stop the advancing Arab armies and push them back beyond the original line. Only a UN Security Council intervention and US vs.Soviet Union confrontation saves an Egyptian Army from complete distraction


On December 20th President of Egypt Anwar Sadat makes a historic trip to Jerusalem and offers the Israelis a complete peace in exchange for their full withdrawal from Sinai. A year later a peace agreement is signed at Camp David. President Sadat is called a traitor by an Arab League and eventually assassinated by Muslim Brotherhood in 1981


On July 30th Israeli Knesset passes the "Basic Law" declaring Jerusalem a complete and united capital of Israel


Israel and the PLO sign on the peace process, known as Oslo Accords, in which Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist and Israel agrees to negotiate Palestinian statehood and withdrawal from West Bank and Gaza. Both sides agree to discuss the status of Jerusalem at the later time. On September 13th Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the PLO leader Yasser Arafat shake hands before the cheering crowds on the White House lawn in Washington. The handshake marks the signing of a Declaration of Principles for peace between the Arabs and Israelis


Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad engage in the continues suicide bombings in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities targeting civilians with an aim of derailing the peace process. On November 4th a Jewish extremist, opposed to Oslo Agreements, assassinates an Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin during the peace rally


On July 11 President Clinton hosts the historic summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairmen Yasser Arafat. Barak's offers includes 96% of the West Banks and Gaza. Bill Clinton offered to divide the Old City section of Jerusalem where Israel would keep Jewish and Armenian Quarters and Palestinians would get Muslim and Christian Quarters. Israel would keep the Western Wall while the Palestinians would get the sovereignty of Al Aqsa Mosque. Yasser Arafat left Camp David negotiations without providing any counter offers and embarked on the major tour of Arab States where he received an overwhelming support for not signing on Barak's offer.


On September 28th Ariel Sharon visits the Temple  Mount. Palestinians blame this visit for the start of the second Intifada, but later Palestinian officials admit that preparations for the uprising started right after the conclusion of the Camp David negotiations


Palestinian uprising and non-stop terror campaign is in full swing. Jerusalem streets and it's residents are becoming the favorite target of the suicide bombers as these attacks attract the world-wide attention. On August 9, a suicide bombing kills 15  people, including 7 children, at Sbarro pizzeria  in downtown Jerusalem. Another 150 people are injured. On December 1st, two suicide bombers detonate explosive devices in the center of Jerusalem on Ben Yehuda Street. 11 people, aged 14-21, were killed and 188 injured


Palestinian uprising and non-stop terror campaign is in full swing. Jerusalem streets and it's residents are becoming the favorite target of the suicide bombers as these attacks attract the world-wide attention. On August 9, a suicide bombing kills 15  people, including 7 children, at Sbarro pizzeria  in downtown Jerusalem. On December 1st, two suicide bombers detonate explosive devices on Ben Yehuda Street killing 11 people


Palestinian Authority and Israeli Parliament agree to accept the U.S.-supported "road map" to a Mideast peace agreement clearing the way for a series of steps that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state within three years. Road map proves to be very difficult to implement . Hamas continues reigh of terror as17 people are killed by suicide bomber on a bus in central Jerusalem

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