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The Temple Mount/ Haram al-Sharif

The Temple Mount compound, in the old city in East Jerusalem, covers an area of 35 acres.

The site is holy to Jews because it is the site of the First and Second Temple in ancient times. It is known in Jewish tradition as the "abode of God's presence".

For religious Jews, the Mount is where redemption will take place when the Messiah arrives. For them and for secular Jews, giving up the Temple Mount is unthinkable.

The Temple Mount is also a profound national symbol. The capture by Israel of the Western Wall in 1967, along with the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, was felt to be a great national achievement.

The same area is known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). It is of deep religious, political and national significance to Palestinians and to Muslims around the world.

For Palestinians, having their future capital in East Jerusalem is a fundamental element of any future state.


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