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Solomon, David's son, built the First Temple on the hilltop rising right above the city he had inherited, the Temple Mount, and then extended the city walls in order to protect the temple.

Supporting his case, every non-biblical mention of Jerusalem found in the ancient Near East refers to the city as 'Jerusalem'.In 1202 to 1212 Saladin's nephew, Al-Malik al-Mu'azzam 'Isa, ordered the reconstruction of the city walls, but later on, in 1219, he reconsidered the situation after most of the watchtowers had been built and had the walls torn down, mainly because he feared that the Crusaders would benefit of the fortifications if they managed to reconquer the city.For the next three centuries, the city remained without protective walls, the Temple Mount/Haram ash-Sharif and the citadel then being the only well-fortified areas. The walls contain 34 watchtowers and seven main gates open for traffic, with two minor gates reopened by archaeologists. In 1535, when Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Suleiman I ordered the ruined city walls to be rebuilt. The length of the walls is 4,018 meters (2.4966 mi), their average height is 12 meters (39.37 feet) and the average thickness is 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).

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