Jerusalem Old City Tour - History & Politics

Every Day except Friday
Length of tour:
3 hours
Departure time: 09.30am
Departure location:
Rimon Cafe, just inside the Damascus Gate,
Old City, Jerusalem - see map
Cost: Shekels NIS 165
Includes a cup of coffee or tea, or a bottle of water.

View from the Austrian Hospice The group meets inside Damascus Gate at the Rimon Cafe, and begins with a briefing by the guide. This includes an introduction into Israeli occupation and settlement efforts in the Old City and the surrounding Holy Basin.

The tour will emphasis the centrality of the Old City of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions and visit some of the visible icons of the Israeli Occupation. This includes Jewish settlements in the Muristan (Christian Quarter) and Muslim Quarter, with discussion of their background and implications. Homes are purchased by the settlement organization, Ateret Cohanim, and populated by young, often radical national religious seminary students, creating uneasy neighborly relations with the mostly Palestinian residents surrounding them. The sources and outcomes of this agenda will be analyzed.

The group will walk through the Muslim Quarter which includes a visit to the viewpoint at the top of the Austrian Hospice.  You will also visit the Western Wall Plaza, the very heart of the Old City and a major holy site for Jews and Muslims alike. An explanation of the sources of the adjacent Temple Mount's and Al Aksa's holiness in Judaism and Islam will be given. Discussion will focus on Muslim and Jewish archaeological and development ventures around Al Aksa Mosque, which are sources of extreme tensions and discontent.

The tour concludes with a walk-through of the Christian Quarter, and returns to Damascus Gate.

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