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Arabic: 'irīhā

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Jericho, Palestine.
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Centre of Jericho, Palestine. Photo: David Lisbona.

Jericho, Palestine.
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Photo: See The Holy Land.

St George Monastery next to Jericho, Palestine.
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St George Monastery is next to Jericho. Photo: georgianakate.

City in Palestine with about 25,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate), situated on the West Bank, in the Jordan Valley, at 244 metres below sea level.
The economic base of Jericho is agriculture, producing dates, bananas and citrus fruits. Agriculture is possible thanks to water that comes from numerous wells. Jericho's tourist industry is fast growing, and Jericho is also important to the trade and the traffic between Jordan and the rest of Palestine.
Jericho is one of the oldest settlements in the world, normally dated back to 9000 BCE. The city is central to both Judaism and Christianity, as it was the city conquered by Joshua, as well as the place from where Jesus was tempted to pass over to Satan's side.
Near Jericho lies what is claimed to be the Mount of Temptation, now with a monastery that is in full use and inhabited by Greek-Orthodox monks and nuns. Near Jericho lies an important religious site for the Muslims, which often is claimed to be the tomb of Moses.

9000 BCE: Earliest settlements of Jericho, living off irrigated agriculture. This earliest settlement is belived to have been very small.
Middle 9th millennium BCE: The settlement is expanded into a walled town with mud brick houses. Economy is still limited to small agriculture and hunting of wild animals.
End 8th millennium BCE: More advanced houses, and probably domestic animals, like sheep.
2300 BCE: Jericho is settled by the Amorites.
2000 BCE: The old city is either abandoned or turned into a very small settlement.
1900 BCE: Settled by the Canaanites.
1200 BCE: Captured by the Hebrews.
586 BCE: Falls to Babylon, and this marked the end of the kingdom Juda.
331: Captured by the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, and is turned into a royal resort.
30 BCE: Jericho is given from the Roman emperor Augustus to the local king Herod. He moves its location further south, built aqueducts, a winter palace and a theatre.
68 CE: Destroyed by the Romans.
4th century: Jericho starts attracting large crowds of pilgrims, resulting in growth in its population.
7th century: Captured by the Muslims.
12th century: Comes under the control of the Crusaders, with results in a growth of the population.
1840: Razed by the Egyptian general Ibrahim Pasha.
1920: Becomes part of the British mandate of Palestine.
1948: Jordan occupies the West Bank including Jericho.
1949: With the end of the First Palestinian War, Jericho becomes the site of a large refugee camp.
1952: Jordan annexes the West Bank.
1967: Following the Six-Day War, the West Bank with Jericho, is occupied by Israel, which results in much of the population moving out of town.
1994: Jericho becomes the first city on the West Bank to be part of the new Palestinian Authority. The choice of Jericho is linked to it having been one of the quietest areas during the Intifada.

By Tore Kjeilen