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According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of Yhwh Yir'eh ("God will see to it", the name given by Abraham to the place where he began to sacrifice his son) and the town "Shalem".

Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived (Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew).

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Whilst the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Jerusalem is also home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of national importance, such as the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book.

Since the 1980s, the city has hosted no foreign embassies, although a Presidential order has been issued in the United States in early December 2017 to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem was named as "Urusalima" on ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, probably meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BCE).

During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE (Iron Age II), and in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.

This spreads to any related issue, such as defining the age of the city.

Shuafat lies about 6 kilometres north of Jerusalem's oldest historical part, the so-called City of David, and about 5 kilometres north of the walled Old City.

The Aramaic Apocryphon of Genesis of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1Qap Gen ) equates Jerusalem with the earlier "Salem" (שלם), said to be the kingdom of Melchizedek in Genesis .