"What! ...Are you sure about this?!... Be careful!" were a few of the reactions I got when I told people back home in India that I intended to make a short trip to Palestine while touring Israel.
On a pleasant December morning, I along with a few other people of different nationalities, set out towards Palestine. Levi, our guide till the border, declared that all this fear and anxiety about the Palestine situation was nothing but media exaggeration. This allayed any fears we might have had as we proceeded towards the holy land of Bethlehem in a bus.
Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus Christ, is located in the West Bank of Palestine (about 10 km from Jerusalem). It is also known as 'David City' as it was the hometown of Kind David, the ruler of Israel.
With just few of us , we were still inquisitive about what will be our next surprise as inside all of us, there was still a fear that this is the same place which is always in the media for all wrong reasons- the infamous "West Bank".
But at the end of the day, we came back more informed & more matured .
So here are few of the experiences that i thought i would share with you which might be of your points of interest as well :
1. The West bank barrier or simply known as "The wall" separates Israel from Palestine in the west bank. we had to cross this wall to enter Palestine. Tourist going as a part of a guided tour don;t face any problem while crossing this wall . However the Jewish Israelis are not allowed to enter Palestine.
2. "The Mosque of Omar"-is the first monument you see when you enter Bethlehem, which was built in 1860 during the Jordanian rule of the city. The mosque was built next to the Church of Nativity . This was by far the greatest example of the peaceful coexistence of Christians and the Muslims in the city where they both offer olive oil to light up the surroundings of the Mosque.