A combination picture shows men and women standing in separate sections as they visit the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, in this Government Press Office handout photo, taken September 1, 1967 (top) and the same location May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Fritz Cohen/Government Press Office/Handout via Reuters (top)/Ronen Zvulun
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will soon mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, a conflict in which it captured the Old City of Jerusalem and more than two dozen Palestinian villages around it from Jordan, laying the foundations of a long-simmering dispute.
According to the Jewish calendar, the anniversary falls on May 24 this year, even though the anniversary for most of the world will be on June 5, when the war began in 1967.
For Israelis, all of Jerusalem, including the Old City and its eastern suburbs, is their “eternal and indivisible” capital.
For Palestinians, East Jerusalem is a symbol of their national struggle and home to Islam’s third most sacred site, the al-Aqsa mosque, and the nearby glittering Dome of the Rock.
Both stand on an elevated plaza Jews refer to as Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, and the location of an ancient Jewish temple.
The Palestinians want the eastern part of the city to be the capital of their future state, alongside the West Bank and Gaza.
Over the decades since 1967, Jerusalem has seen controversy over settlements, violence, and demographic change. Despite all this, many of the key sites in the Old City, scenes of fighting half a century ago, have changed relatively little.
In an effort to illustrate changes in the city over the past 50 years, Reuters has assembled from an Israeli government archive a collection of photos taken in Jerusalem in 1967. Reuters photographers then took pictures of the same sites as they are today.
A photo essay juxtaposing the present and the past can be seen here: http://reut.rs/2qBjLmy
(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; editing by Mark Heinrich)