Jerusalem: Now Israel’s Largest City

Thirteen years after its reunification, Jerusalem has emerged as Israel’s largest city with a population of 420,000, surpassing Tel Aviv. According to statistics released today on the occasion of Jerusalem Day, 290,000 of the city’s residents are Jews, 100,000 are Moslems and 12,000 are Christians. In the 13 years since the Six-Day War, the total population increased by 137,000 or approximately 52 percent. The post-1967 residents include 95,000 Jews and 42,000 non-Jews.

Meanwhile, a bill declaring united Jerusalem the capital of Israel was approved on its first reading by a large Knesset majority today and referred to committee for further work. The bill was introduced by interior Minister Yosef Burg in the form of a new “basic law.” Basic laws differ from ordinary laws in that they require a two-thirds majority of the Knesset to change them. They are enacted with the understanding that at some time in the future all basic laws will be incorporated into a formal State Constitution.

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