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5 Things to Know About Trump's Move to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

5 Things to Know About Trump's Move to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

1. What Makes Jerusalem So Important?

A Christian pilgrim prays at the large marble slab traditionally believed to be the stone that Jesus Christ's body was washed upon when removed from the cross, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Israel, June 6, 2006 | (Photo: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)

The status of Jerusalem has been up for dispute for centuries, with the Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans and the British Empire among the factions fighting historical battles for control over the city.

Jerusalem contains numerous sacred sites claimed by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and is where Jesus Christ preached, died, and was later resurrected.

British rule over the area ended in 1948, which led to Jordan's invasion and occupation of the Old City, before Israel captured the land in the 1967 Middle East war. In 1980 Israel declared Jerusalem to be a "complete and united" city and capital of its country, to the protest of Arab countries in the region.

Palestinians, on the other hand, see East Jerusalem as their capital. They live in the city as Israeli residents, receive access to services and vote in municipal elections. Some become Israeli citizens and can vote in parliamentary elections, but most refuse to do so.

The United Nations deems East Jerusalem to be occupied, and has said that the status of the city can only be resolved through negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

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