For 2,000 years, the Jewish people were kept from their holiest sites. Now, thanks to our friends at JerusalemU and The Jerusalem Post, relive the moment when that two-millennia dream became a reality and the IDF took back control of Jerusalem's Old City and the Temple Mount:
Looking down on the Old City of Jerusalem from its strategic vantage point on Mount Scopus, the Israeli Defense Force was preparing to strike the Jordanians.
For the last 19 years Jerusalem had been divided. In the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan had captured the eastern part of the city, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, the location of the ancient Jewish Temples and Judaism’s holiest site.
Under Jordanian rule, Jews were evicted from the Jewish Quarter, synagogues were destroyed and the neighboring Mount of Olives cemetery - Judaism’s oldest and holiest - was vandalized. Since then, Jews were barred from their holy sites in eastern Jerusalem, despite the promise of religious rights in the 1949 armistice agreement.
In the early morning of June 7, Israeli paratroopers advanced on the city, using no artillery so as to preserve the ancient site. After battling for hours and suffering numerous casualties, the Israelis prevailed.
Israeli Army Radio broadcast a cry now famous in the annals of Israeli history - “Har Habayit Beyadenu, Har Habayit Beyadenu!” - the Temple Mount is in our hands, the Temple Mount is in our hands...