Jerusalem Tour - All Day

Tour Highlights

Palestinian Women sitting next the separation wall
• Old City - All Four Quarters
• Stunning rooftop viewpoint
• East Jerusalem
• The Separation Wall
• Palestinian Neighborhoods
• Settlements
• Checkpoints
Tour Details


Everyday
Length of Tour: 7 Hours
Tel Aviv Departure*: 6:30 am - HaYarkon48 Hostel (map)
Jerusalem Departure:9:00 am - Jerusalem Hotel Cafe (map)
Bethlehem Departure:8:00 am - The Walled Off Hotel (map)
Return 4:00 pm in Jerusalem - 5:00pm to Bethlehem
5:30 pm to Tel Aviv
Cost: From Jerusalem US$93
From Bethlehem US$118
From Tel Aviv US$123
Includes a cup of coffee or tea, or a bottle of water - at the briefing
3 hours walking - 3 hours driving - 1 hour lunch (cost not included)
* Early Tel Aviv departure to miss rush hour. Time for breakfast in Jerusalem.
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Detailed Description

This is the flagship tour of the Green Olive Collective, and can set the stage for further exploration of the country.

The experience is intended for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, to go a little beyond the 'Them and Us' discourse, and to learn from a guide who has in-depth knowledge of the issues and an alternative perspective.



The tour begins in the Old City with a detailed briefing illustrated with maps, covering one hundred years of history from the late Ottoman period to the present day. This includes an introduction to Israeli occupation and settlement efforts in the Old City and the surrounding Holy Basin.

The morning 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 organisation, Ateret Cohanim, and populated by young, often radical national religious seminary students, creating uneasy neighbourly relations with the mostly Palestinian residents surrounding them. The sources and outcomes of this agenda will be analysed.

The group will walk through the Muslim Quarter which includes a visit to a viewpoint over the city, usually 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 Aqsa's holiness in Judaism and Islam will be given. Discussion will focus on Muslim and Jewish archaeological and development ventures around Al Aqsa Mosque, which are sources of extreme tensions and discontent.

After lunch there will be another short briefing with maps, then off on the bus to learn about the facts on the ground in East Jerusalem settlements and Palestinian neighborhoods.

You'll drive down the 'seam line' road that separates east and west Jerusalem, passing areas that were conquered by Jewish forces in the 1948 War and whose Palestinian residents were mostly given refugee status by the United Nations. You will see Israeli settlements both from this era and more modern colonies, often one house built right in the middle of an otherwise Palestinian neighborhood.

A boy sitting on couch after his house was demolishedWe will stop at several stunning look outs which paint a stark picture of the vast differences between East and West Jerusalem. From places like Jabal Mukaber you can see the modern office towers and highways in the West of the city and unsealed roads and donkeys being ridden bareback in the East. The panoramic views back to the old city of Jerusalem on this tour are also amazing.

You will learn a lot exploring neighbourhoods like Abu Dis or Beit Hanina, where permits to enlarge homes or build new houses are almost never given but inspections and demolitions are a common occurrence.

You will also come up close with the now infamous West Bank Wall - sometimes called the Separation Barrier, or the Security Fence - which divides not only Arabs and Jews but in many places existing Palestinian communities. There are even places like the Shuafat Refugee Camp or Kafr 'Aqab which are within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem but are separated from the city by the Wall. This is also an excellent place to discuss the reasons for building the wall, perceptions of its success as deterring terrorism and the extensive surveillance of the Palestinian people.

You may be able to have a view of Palestinian village of Anata which is surrounded by the Wall where you can see the 'Fabric of Life' (Arabs only) roads being built. You will learn about Ma'aleh Adumim, one of the largest settlements (pop. 35,000) in the West Bank, and on some tours we may visit the outlying outposts of the town, and learn about the displacement of the local Jahalin Bedouin. There are some amazing lookout points which include great views of the Judean Desert and the 'E1' planning zone that is planned to be filled with new settlement neighborhoods and tourist hotels.

Throughout the tour your guide will give descriptions and analysis of the impact of the Jewish settlements on the nearby Palestinian neighborhoods, and place the discourse within the context of the re-framing briefing provided during the first part of the tour.

There will be opportunities for questions and discussion during the tour. Be prepared for many of your preconceptions about the conflict to be challenged.