Geographically Bethlehem is within the borders of Israel, however Bethlehem is in an area called the West Bank which is an autonomous area administered by the Palestinian Authority. The borderline between Israel and the West Bank is not clearly defined and one can pass between Israel and Bethlehem easily, the only checkpoint, and all the security is run by the Israeli Defense Force. Being within Israel the closest airport is in Tel Aviv and you can enter Bethlehem with the passport you have entered Israel with and the same languages and currency are used in Bethlehem as in Israel. Jerusalem is the best city for traveling to Bethlehem with or without a tour group.

So the short answer is that Bethlehem is geographically within Israel but politically it is within the Israeli Occupied Territorial Area of Palestine.


The best known city close to Bethlehem is Jerusalem and if you are visiting you will probably leave for Bethlehem from Jerusalem. Bethlehem is a 30 minute bus ride or 2 hour rigorous walk from Jerusalem, once you reach the entrance to Bethlehem it is about another 10 minutes to the center of the city.

If you want to find Bethlehem on a map you will find it 10km/6mi south of Jerusalem; 59 km/36mi southeast of Tel Aviv; 73km/45mi from Gaza; 73 km/45mi northeast of the Mediterranean Sea and 75 km/46mi west of Amman, Jordan. Bethlehem is also close to Beit Safafa to the north; Beit Sahour to the east and Beit Jala to the northwest.


Bethlehem is in Western Asia within the country of Israel, the city of Bethlehem is also within an area called Bethlehem. Bethlehem is between Israel and Jordan, West of the River Jordan.

Bethlehem sits between two peaks on the Judean mountain range at a height of 775meters/2,543 feet above sea level. You can find where Bethlehem is on a map using the coordinates: 31̊43’0″N 35̊12’0″E.



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