The Jericho Years
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After the construction of the palaces, the city had functioned not only as an agricultural center and as a crossroad, but also as a winter resort for Jerusalem 's aristocracy. First-century Jericho is described in Strabo 's Geography as follows:. Jericho is a plain surrounded by a kind of mountainous country, which in a way, slopes toward it like a theatre. Here is the Phoenicon, which is mixed also with all kinds of cultivated and fruitful trees, though it consists mostly of palm trees.
It is stadia in length and is everywhere watered with streams. Here also are the Palace and the Balsam Park. The Christian Gospels state that Jesus of Nazareth passed through Jericho where he healed blind beggars Matthew , and inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus to repent of his dishonest practices Luke — John Wesley , in his New Testament Notes on this section of Luke's Gospel , claimed that "about twelve thousand priests and Levites dwelt there, who all attended the service of the temple". Smith 's Bible Names Dictionary suggests that on the arrival of Jesus and his entourage, "Jericho was once more 'a city of palms' when our Lord visited it.
Here he restored sight to the blind Matthew ; Mark ; Luke Here the descendant of Rahab did not disdain the hospitality of Zaccaeus the publican. Finally, between Jerusalem and Jericho was laid the scene of his story of the good Samaritan.
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Accounts of Jericho by a Christian pilgrim are given in A synagogue dating to the late 6th or early 7th century CE was discovered in Jericho in , and was named Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue , or "peace unto Israel", after the central Hebrew motto in its mosaic floor. It was controlled by Israel after the Six Day War, but after the handover to Palestinian Authority control per the Oslo Accords, it has been a source of conflict.
On the night of 12 October , the synagogue was vandalized by Palestinians who burned holy books and relics and damaged the mosaic. The Na'aran synagogue, another Byzantine era construction, was discovered on the northern outskirts of Jericho in While less is known of it than Shalom Al Yisrael, it has a larger mosaic and is in similar condition. The Arab Muslim historian Musa b. By , that district had come under the control of Mu'awiya , founder of the Umayyad dynasty. That year, an earthquake destroyed Jericho.
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A palatial complex long attributed to the tenth Umayyad caliph, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik r. This "desert castle" or qasr was more likely built by Caliph Walid ibn Yazid r. The unfinished structure was largely destroyed in an earthquake in Umayyad rule ended in and was followed by the Arab caliphates of the Abbasid and Fatimid dynasties.
Irrigated agriculture was developed under Islamic rule, reaffirming Jericho's reputation as a fertile "City of the Palms". Bananas are plentiful, also dates and flowers of fragrant odor". The city flourished until with the invasion of the Seljuk Turks , followed by the upheavals of the Crusades. In , the Crusaders rebuilt the Monastery of St. They also built another two churches and a monastery dedicated to John the Baptist , and are credited with introducing sugarcane production to the city.
In , the Crusaders were evicted by the Ayyubid forces of Saladin after their victory in the Battle of Hattin , and the town slowly went into decline. In , Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi said of Jericho, "it has many palm trees, also sugarcane in quantities, and bananas. The best of all the sugar in the Ghaur land is made here.
In Jericho appeared in the tax registers under the name of Riha , being in the nahiya of Al-Quds in the liwa of Al-Quds. It had a population of 51 household, all Muslims. All of the revenue still went to a Waqf. The French traveller Laurent d'Arvieux described the city in as "now desolate, and consists only of about fifty poor houses, in bad condition The plain around is extremely fertile; the soil is middling fat; but it is watered by several rivulets, which flow into the Jordan.
Notwithstanding these advantages only the gardens adjacent to the town are cultivated. In the 19th century, European scholars, archaeologists and missionaries visited often.
- Early excavations at Jericho;
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The main water sources for the village were a spring called Ein al-Sultan , lit. Buckingham describes in his book how the male villagers of er-Riha, although nominally sedentary, engaged in Bedouin -style raiding, or ghazzu : the little land cultivation he observed was done by women and children, while men spent most of their time riding through the plains and engaging in "robbery and plunder", their main and most profitable activity.
An Ottoman village list from around showed that Riha , Jericho, had 36 houses and a population of , though the population count included men, only. The first excavation at Tell es-Sultan was carried out in The Greek Orthodox monasteries of Monastery of St.
George of Choziba and John the Baptist were refounded and completed in and , respectively. During World War II The British built fortresses in Jericho with the help of the Jewish company Solel Boneh , and bridges were rigged with explosives in preparation for a possible invasion by German allied forces. In , an earthquake struck and affected Jericho and other cities. Around people died,  but by the census the population had increased to 1, inhabitants, in houses. In the statistics , the Jericho's population was 3,; 2, Muslims, Jews, Christians and 10 classified as "other",  and it had jurisdiction over 37, dunams of land.
Jericho came under Jordanian control after the Arab—Israeli War. The Jericho Conference , organized by King Abdullah and attended by over 2, Palestinian delegates in proclaimed "His Majesty Abdullah as King of all Palestine" and called for "the unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity".
In mid, Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and Jericho residents, like other residents of West Bank localities became Jordanian citizens. In , the population of Jericho was 10,,  of whom were Christian, the rest Muslim. It was the first city handed over to Palestinian Authority control in accordance with the Oslo Accords. Part of the agreement was a "Protocol on Economic Relations", signed on 29 April Four roadblocks encircle the enclave, restricting Jericho's Palestinian population's movement through the West Bank.
In response to the Second Intifada and suicide bombings , Jericho was re-occupied by Israeli troops. After Hamas assaulted a neighborhood in Gaza mostly populated by the Fatah-aligned Hilles clan , in response to their attack that killed six Hamas members, the Hilles clan was relocated to Jericho on 4 August Rich alluvial soil and abundant spring water have made Jericho an attractive place for settlement.
Palestinian refugees constituted a significant Jericho has a young population, with nearly half People between the ages of 20 and 44 made up Demographics have varied widely depending on the dominant ethnic group and rule in the region over the past three thousand years. In , Israel and the Palestinians signed an economic accord that enabled Palestinians in Jericho to open banks, collect taxes and engage in export and import in preparation for self-rule.
In , Jericho, with its proximity to the Dead Sea, was declared the most popular destination among Palestinian tourists. Christian tourism is one of Jericho's primary sources of income. There are several major Christian pilgrimage sites in and around Jericho. The archaeological sites in and near Jericho have a high potential for attracting tourists.
These are dealt with in detail in the History and archaeology paragraph:. Agriculture is another source of income, with banana groves ringing the city. Agricultural processing companies are being offered financial concessions to lease plots of land in the park in a bid to boost Jericho's economy. In , Christian friars opened a school for pupils that became the Terra Santa School.
The city has 22 state schools and a number of private schools. They play home games in the 15, spectator Jericho International Stadium.
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Jericho is twinned with:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the city in the West Bank. For other uses, see Jericho disambiguation.
Jericho, Holy Land
Municipality type A in State of Palestine. Municipality type A City. Municipal Seal of Jericho. Location of Jericho within Palestine. Part of a series on the. Achaemenid Empire Yehud Medinata. Rashidun Jund Filastin , Jund al-Urdunn. See also: Levantine archaeology. See also: Tell es-Sultan.
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