On 7 June 1967, the Israel Defence Forces liberated the Old City of Jerusalem and nineteen years of Jordanian rule came to an end. The Defence Minister, accompanied by the Chief of Staff and senior officers, arrived at the Western Wall at noon on that day. The Minister made the following statement:
This morning, the Israel Defence Forces liberated Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our Holy Places, never to part from it again.
To our Arab neighbours we extend, also at this hour - and with added emphasis at this hour - our hand in peace. And to our Christian and Muslim fellow citizens, we solemnly promise full religious freedom and rights. We did not come to Jerusalem for the sake of other peoples' Holy Places, and not to interfere with the adherents of other faiths, but in order to safeguard its entirety, and to live there together with others, in unity.