The Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem - for 20 years the symbol of a divided city - is being torn down.
The Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem - for 20 years the symbol of a divided city - is being torn down. The demolition of the gate is one of the visible signs of the unification of Jerusalem under Israeli control.
Until the recent Six Day War the city of Jerusalem, which is sacred to Jews, Moslems and Christians, was divided between Israel and Jordan. The diving line between the two countries was the Mandelbaum Gate - a frontier post with its own security forces, customs and passport offices.
Then, during the Middle East war in May, the Israelis swept victoriously into the Jordanian sector of the old city.
Jerusalem, once the capital of Palestine, was divided after an armistice agreement had been signed between Jordan and Israel in 1949. According to a partition resolution passed by the United Nations in 1947 the city was to be internationalised, but the plan was halted by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948.
In the fighting the Old City of Jerusalem passed into the hands of jordan and the New City into those of Israel. When the fighting stopped the city was divided - and the Mandelbaum Gate was put up.
Now gangs of workmen are sending it toppling into the dust, and as the last cars pass through it plans are being made to build a wide roadway through the site that was one occupied by the Gate.