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Jerusalem: the beating heart of the conflict

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Jerusalem: the beating heart of the conflict


Jerusalem: the Holy city for Muslims, Jews and Christians alike. It lies at the heart of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Positions on the issue are so entrenched that broaching the subject with politicians is almost taboo.

Straddling the border between Israel and the West Bank, Jerusalem is claimed by both groups as their own.

The situation is so delicate that no other country has ever opened an embassy there.

Highway One skirts the north of the old city. It also follows the line of the 1967 border encompassing East Jerusalem, which Palestinians dream of establishing as their own capital.

40 years ago, on the same spot, this check point separated the areas of Jerusalem controlled by Jordan and Israel.

But in June 1967 the Israeli Army occupied the old city during what became known as the Six Day War.
The Israelis were jubilant. For them, Jerusalem was reunified and they gained access to its holiest sites. Once more they could proclaim it their eternal and undivided city. Every attempt would be made to prevent the Palestinians regaining any territory, even in the face of continued disapproval from the United Nations.

The Israelis have transformed Jerusalem into a fortress, carved out of the West Bank. But to achieve peace with the Palestinians, a compromise on the status of the Holy City is unavoidable.

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