Bethlehem

Bethlehem translates to “house of meat” in Arabic and “house of bread” in Hebrew. Bethlehem is a city in Palestine located in the central WEST BANK, precisely eight kilometers from Jerusalem. The population of the city is roughly thirty thousand. It is regarded as the headquarters of Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority. It is also the hub for tourism in the country and is a profusion of Palestinian culture. The Hebrew Bible recognizes Bethlehem as the birthplace of David and also as the city where he was bestowed the title of the King of Israel. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the place where Jesus of Nazareth was born. Bethlehem harbors one amongst the oldest community of Christians alone. Although the community has dwindled due to increasing emigration.

The city was burned down to ruins by Samaritans back in 529 AD, but after the revolt, it was built again by Justinian, the emperor of Byzantine. In 637AD the city was invaded by the Arab Caliphate of ‘Umaribn al-Khattāb, he promised to keep the city and its religious shrines safe. The city was later conquered and fortified by the Crusaders in 1099; they replaced the Greek orthodox clergy of that time with a Latin clergy instead. This Latin Clergy were banished by Saladin, the Sultan of Syria and Egypt once he conquered the city of Bethlehem. The Mamluks came in 1250 and demolished the city walls. They subsequently built them again during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.

The British took control of the city by force from the Ottomans just when the First World War began. It was due to be introduced to the international arena during the partition plan for Palestine by the United Nations in 1947. Jordan captured Bethlehem in 1948 during the Israeli-Arab War. Bethlehem has been under the control of the Palestinian National Authority since 1995. Bethlehem currently has an Islamic majority, but it also harbors the largest Christian community in Palestine. Agglomeration of Bethlehem consists of the towns of Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, and also the refugee camps of Azza and Aida. Tourism is the main economic source for Bethlehem(see also tour bethlehem jericho); it steeply rises during the Christmas holidays. Christian devotees pay homage to the Church of Nativity on Christmas. There are more than 30 hotels and 300 workshops for handicraft in the city of Bethlehem. The significant Jewish holy structure of Rachel’s Tomb is situated at the entrance of the city, right up in the north.

Bethlehem possesses a Mediterranean type of climate, inclusive of a dry and hot summer and relatively cold winters. Winter lasts from Mid-December till Mid-March and they can be pretty cold and damp. The coldest month is considered to be January with the temperature going into the range of 1 to 13 degree Celsius i.e. 33 to 55 degree Fahrenheit.

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