Bethlehem was established and inhabited by the Canaanites around 2000 BC, and was called Beit Eilo Lahama, which means “house of the God Lahama,” who is the god of food and sustenance, according to the Canaanites, in connection with this name, the city’s name in Arabic indicates the meaning of food as well (house of meat). And “The house of bread” in the ancient Aramaic language.
Bethlehem was mentioned in the Amarna correspondence of 1350–1330 BCE during its habitation by the Canaanites. King David was crowned in Bethlehem as the king of Israel. While The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Bethlehem was destroyed by the Emperor Hadrian ; its rebuilding was promoted by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who commissioned the building of its great Church of the Nativity in 327 CE. The church was badly damaged by the Samaritans, who sacked it during a revolt in 529, but was rebuilt a century later by Emperor Justinian I.
Bethlehem became part of Jund Filastin following the Muslim conquest in 637. Muslim rule continued in Bethlehem until its conquest in 1099 by a crusading army, who replaced the town’s Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one. In the mid-13th century, the Mamluks demolished the city’s walls, which were subsequently rebuilt under the Ottomans in the early 16th century. Control of Bethlehem passed from the Ottomans to the British at the end of World War I. Bethlehem came under Jordanian rule during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and was later captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since the 1995 Oslo Accords, Bethlehem has been administered by the Palestinian Authority.
- The Nativity Church, birth place of Jesus
- The Milk Grotto Church
- A walk through the old market and visit to the olive wood workshops and gallarays.
- A walk along the barrier wall, including views of the graffiti. visit to Banksy Shop and Walled off Hotel and its gallaary
- A visit to the Aida Refugee Camp, and an opportunity to learn about the refugee crisis facing Palestine
- The Shepherds’ fields in Beit Sahour
- Tent of Nations : Tent of Nations
- Solomon’s pool.
- Mar Theodosius Monastery
- Mar Saba Monastery in the Jerusalem Wilderness
- The Herodian Fortress, built by King Herod the Great
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