West Banks Fortifications
Before WW1,the socalled " West Bank" was under Ottoman rule as part of the province of Syria. In the 1920 San Remo conference, the Allied powers allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War saw the establishment of Israel in parts of the former Mandate, while the West Bank was captured and annexed by Jordan. The 1949 Armistice Agreements defined its interim boundary. From 1948 until 1967, the area was under Jordanian rule. Since 1967, it is under military occupation by Israel.
Driving from Beth Shean to Jerusalem, about 5 kilometers before passing Jericho, there are fortifications and a lot of barbed wire on the hills beside the road to be seen. The fortifications are fully operational and seemingly taken care of by the Israel Army.
St. George Monastery - Greek orthodox, was founded in 5 century, and restored after the crusaders. It is built in the wall of the canyon - Wadi Qelt (Kilt, Kelt, Qilt) which is one of thew biggest tributaries of River Jordan and passes through Jericho downstream. The monastery is currently open Fri and Sun morning and afternoon, and Sat morning, but of course you can always drive there and enjoy the fantastic views. Technically, it is at the West Bank, but currently (April 2005) access is free and the situation is stable, no safety threats.
(For transportation, see the next tip).
jerico and other places in Palestine
"Seeing Jerusalem from Bethlehem"
It's so weird to look from one part of a city into another and know that I had to go through a military checkpoint to see it. Bethlehem is on a hill and looks to be part of the city of Jerusalem, but it's another world there. There's a change in the financial fortunes of the residents that is immediately noticeable to anyone that ventures here. The people of Jerusalem look so much more prosperous. Angie and I were almost immediately surrounded by small children dressed in what I would have to call rags after we got out of the taxi we had hired. They didn't beg, but simply looked at us and asked where we were from. One child offered to take us to "the Church" (still don't know what church that was) for one shekel. Angie and I ended up buying them all shwarma from a vendor. Cost us about 50 cents American to do so, and the kids were all smiles when we left. I may have been "taken" but it sure felt good, so the heck with it.
"Sign in Jerico"
This is a sign that says the tree next to it is the one where Zacchaeus climbed up to see Jesus. It's supposedly two thousand years old (tree, not the sign). I have a tree in my yard as big as this one, and it's not even close to two thousand.
"Tree of Zacchaeus"
This is Sycamore tree said to have been the tree where zacchaeus climbed up to see Jesus as he passed by. It's big, but I have a lot of doubt that it's 2000 years old.
Jericho is believed to be one of, if not the oldest cities in the world. It was the first city captured by the Israelites after their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Ironically, Jericho (along with the Gaza Strip) was the first territory given to the Palestinians by Israel as part of their peace agreement in 1994. Today, the Palestinian Authority is developing the town in hopes of making it a major tourist attraction. It is also where Yasir Arafat maintains a home before dying.
Jericho is a green oasis in the Jordan Valley which lies 7 km west of the River Jordan, 10 Km north of the Dead Sea and 30 Km east of Jerusalem. It lies 250 meters below sea level and thus it is considered to be the lowest city in the world.
The origin of the name "Jericho" is Semitic. To the Canaanites it meant "The Moon". In Syriac the name meant "Scent and odour". The city is called "The city of Palm" and "The Garden of God".
Jericho is one of the most ancient human habitations. The most ancient human remains were found in it, some of which go back to 5000 years B.C. Others believe that these remains go back to 7000 years B.C. The most recent opinion on this subject is that they date back to 8000 years B.C.
I think that we have to site only the periods
The pre-Stone Age or the first Neolithic Age in Jericho 6800 B.C.
The pre-Clay Age or the Second Neolithic Age in Jericho, 5500 B.C.
The Late Neolithic Age in Jericho : between 5000-4000 B.C.
The first Neolithic Pottery Age
The Second Neolithic Pottery Age
The Bronze Age
Successive Peoples who came to Jericho after 2300 B.C.
The Israelites According to Jewish tradition, after the Israelites' 40-year sojourn in the desert, Joshua decides the first city in Canaan he will conquer is Jericho. God tells him that he will be victorious and instructs Joshua to have his troops march around the walls of the city once a day for six days. The force is to be led by seven priests walking beside the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments and blowing rams' horns (shofarot). On the seventh day, the troops are supposed to circle the city seven more times, then the priests are ordered to blow their horns and the soldiers to shout, and the walls of the city, God tells Joshua, will tumble down. This is precisely what happens according to the Bible (Joshua 6).
Jericho later fell to the Babylonians, but was rebuilt when the Jews were allowed to return from their exile. The city continued to be a resort during the rule of the succeeding empires. For Christians, Jericho took on importance because of its association with John the Baptist, who was said to have been baptized by the banks of the Jordan on the eastern boundary of the city (Matthew 3:13-15), and the story of the temptation of Christ (Matthew 4:1-4).
The Romans destroyed the old city in the first century, but it was rebuilt in its present location by the Byzantines. The city briefly returned to glory when Caliph Hisham Ibn Abd el-Malik built his winter palace in Jericho in 743, but an earthquake destroyed virtually the entire city just four years later. The city later fell to the Crusaders and then was recaptured by Salahadin. Jericho was largely ignored and deserted for centuries afterward.
The UN partition decision allocated the area to the Arab state, but, after the 1948 war, it was controlled by Jordan. Many Arabs who left other parts of Palestine moved to the area and a number of UN refugee camps were set up. A Palestinian nationalist named Musa Alami founded an agricultural school to train refugees in 1951, which is still in operation. The territory was subsequently captured by Israel in the Six-Day War.Today its a part of Palestine
Most ancient city
Jericho is an evergreen oasis in the Jordan Valley. This a barren very desolate area and in the middle of this is Jericho. It is known as the Date City or the City of the Palms. 2 Chronicles 28:15. Its name in Hebrew means a Place of Fragrance Or Moon City.
It has a abundance of water and sub-tropical climate with extremely fertile soil, ideal for growing exotic flowers and tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas, bananas and dates.