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Jerusalem isn't only the capital of Israel, but also of three religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. For this reason alone it's a fascinating city, where buildings of two thousand years old merge seamlessly with modern offices and apartments. Unfortunately it's a divided city: the modern and mainly by Jews inhabited West Jerusalem and the old and mainly by Arabs inhabited East Jerusalem, which was conquered by Israel from Jordan in 1967 and annexed in 1980.
Jerusalem has over 750,000 inhabitants. The largest part (two thirds) of the population consists of Jews and half of them is extreme Orthodox. More and more secular Jews leave the city and their place is taken by extreme Orthodox Jews. About one third of Jerusalem's inhabitants is Islamic and a minority of about 2% adheres to Christianity.
Jerusalem is centrally located in Israel, on the eastern border of the West Bank which is largely governed by the Palestinian Authority, but there are also hundreds of Israeli settlements.
Israel's capital is of course the seat of the national government. Many people work for the government or related services. Education and healthcare also provide much employment. In recent years, the number of high-tech companies has grown significantly. Tourism to this historical city is also an important source of income.
Israel's national airport, Ben Gurion International Airport, is situated over 50 kilometers northwest of Jerusalem. The airport is easily reachable by rental car; it lies directly along the highway to Tel Aviv.
Like the city, public bus transport is divided. Some buses only run in West Jerusalem (and the Jewish quarters of East Jerusalem); there's a separate bus network for the Arab quarters in East Jerusalem. In 2011, a light-rail line became operational which connects the northeastern districts with those in the southwest, via the city center.
Jerusalem's Old City can only be explored by foot, because many streets and alleys aren't accessible for cars. It's not easy to find a free parking place, especially during the Sabbath (Saturdays). There's an underground parking garage underneath the Mamilla shopping mall. There's also a large P+R area near Mount Herzl where you can park your rental car to continue to the center by streetcar (light rail). Parking is prohibited at red-white and red-yellow chequered curbs.
Jerusalem has an enormous choice of accommodations. In the Old City you'll mainly find small hotels and cheap guesthouses. More luxurious hotels are concentrated in West Jerusalem, although there are also basic guesthouses and bed & breakfasts.
For more information about Jerusalem, we recommend Google and the following sources: