On this date in 1947, the Arab Legion surrounded Jerusalem and isolated its 100,000 Jews from the rest of the Israeli population. By March 1948 the city was under full siege, and in May, Jordan invaded and occupied east Jerusalem, dividing the city for the first time in its history, and driving thousands of Jews into exile. The Arabs proceeded to destroy all 58 synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, and used Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives to build roads and latrines. The Western Wall would be off-limits to Jews (in spite of the cease-fire agreement granting freedom of access to holy places), restored again with Israel's victory in the 1967 war.
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