• Short Summary

    THE QUESTION OF CUSTODY OF THE HOLY PLACES HAS ARISEN AGAIN AS A RESULT OF LAST MONTH'S FIGHTING BETWEEN ISRAEL AND JORDAN.

  • Description

    THE QUESTION OF CUSTODY OF THE HOLY PLACES HAS ARISEN AGAIN AS A RESULT OF LAST MONTH'S FIGHTING BETWEEN ISRAEL AND JORDAN. THE SLICE OF TERRITORY ON THE WEST BANK OF THE RIVER JORDAN THAT WAS THEN OCCUPIED BY ISRAEL CONTAINS ONE OF THE RICHEST CONCENTRATIONS OF RELIGIOUS SHRINES ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. HOLY PLACES OF THREE FAITHS, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM AND JUDAISM, ARE TO BE FOUND THERE, PARTICULARLY IN THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM.

    THE POPE HAS CALLED FOR THE WHOLE CITY OF JERUSALEM TO BE GIVEN INTERNATIONAL STATUS, WHICH WOULD BE QUITE UNACCEPTABLE TO ISRAEL. THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT HAS GIVEN SOLEMN UNDERTAKINGS TO PROTECT THE HOLY PLACES, AND TO ALLOW FULL FREEDOM OF WORSHIP AND ACCESS.

    IT HAS ALSO BEGUN TO OPEN UP THE WEST BANK AREA AGAIN TO TOURISM. ISRAEL STANDS TO GAIN SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THE FLOW OF FOREIGN TOURISTS AND PILGRIMS IF SHE REMAINS IN CONTROL OF THE TERRITORY WHERE THE HOLY PLACES ARE SITUATED. CONVERSELY, THE LOSS OF THIS TRADE IS A SERIOUS BLOW TO THE ECONOMY OF JORDAN.

    FOR JEWS, THE MOST SACRED SITE IN THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM IS THE SO-CALLED "WAILING WALL". THIS WALL, STANDING NEARLY 60 FEET (19 METRES) HIGH, IS ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE ANCIENT JEWISH TEMPLE, FIRST BUILT BY KING SOLOMON AND REBUILT BY HEROD THE GREAT IN THE CENTURY BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. THE SOLDIERS WHO CAPTURED THE OLD CITY IN THE EARLY STAGES OF LAST MONTH'S FIGHTING WERE THE FIRST ISRAELIS TO BE ABLE TO VISIT THE WALL FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS. FOR THEY HAD BEEN BARRED SINCE THE OLD CITY WAS AWARDED TO JORDAN IN THE ARMISTICE AGREEMENT OF 1948. SOON AFTERWARDS, RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES TOOK PLACE THERE FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR MANY CENTURIES; FOR THESE WERE NOT ALLOWED EITHER UNDER MOSLEM CONTROL OR DURING THE YEARS OF THE BRITISH MANDATE.

    THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE STANDS ON WHAT IS, FOR CHRISTIANS, THE MOST SACRED SPOT ON EARTH: THE TRADITIONAL SITE OF THE CRUCIFIXION, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. THE EARLY CHRISTIANS WORSHIPPED THERE IN SECRET, AND THE FIRST CHURCH WAS BUILT THERE WHEN CHRISTIANITY BECAME THE OFFICIAL RELIGION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AFTER THE CONVERSION OF THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE IN THE 4TH CENTURY A.D. THE PRESENT CHURCH DATES FROM THE 12TH CENTURY, THE TIME OF THE CRUSADES.

    A NARROW STREET WINDING THROUGH THE HEART OF THE OLD CITY AND LEADING TO IT IS THE VIA DOLOROSA - THE ROUTE THAT JESUS TROD FROM PONTIUS PILATE'S COURTHOUSE TO CALVARY, CARRYING THE CROSS.

    OUTSIDE THE OLD CITY WALLS, ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, IS THE CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION. THIS MARKS THE PLACE FROM WHICH CHRISTIANS BELIEVED TO HAVE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN. BELOW IT IN THE VALLEY IS THE TOMB OF THE VIRGIN, MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS.

    JERUSALEM IS ALSO A HOLY CITY FOR THE MOSLEM FAITH, RANKING NEXT AFTER MECCA AND MEDINA. THE DOME OF THE ROCK, A GREEK MOSQUE DATING BACK TO THE 7TH CENTURY A.D., STANDS IN AN AREA CALLED AL-HARAM ESH-SHARIF, WHICH IS HELD SACRED BY BOTH JEWS AND MOSLEMS. IT IS THE TRADITIONAL SITE ON ??? ABRAHAM, WHO IS VENERATED IN BOTH FAITHS, PREPARED TO SACRIFICE HIS SON ISAAC; THE SITE OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE; AND ALSO THE LEGENDARY PLACE OF ASCENSION OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD. SHORTLY AFTER FIGHTING ENDED LAST MONTH, MOSLEMS LIVING IN ISRAEL WERE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE OLD CITY TO PRAY THERE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 1948 PARTITION.

    BETHLEHEM, THE BIRTHPLACE OF JESUS CHRIST AND OF KING DAVID LIES ABOUT 11 MILES (18 KMS) SOUTH OF JERUSALEM. THE LITTLE CAVE IN WHICH CHRIST WAS BORN NOW LIES BENEATH THE CHOIR OF THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY. OUTSIDE THE TOWN IS THE SHEPHERDS' FIELD, WHERE THE ANGELS ARE SAID TO HAVE APPEARED TO THE SHEPHERDS BRINGING THE NEWS OF CHRIST'S BIRTH. A FRANCISCAN CHURCH NOW STANDS ON THIS SPOT.

    THE WHOLE AREA ABOUNDS IN JEWISH SACRED MONUMENTS, SUCH AS THE TOMB OF RACHEL, THE WIFE OF JACOB, AND OF ABSALOM, KING DAVID'S SON.

    ABOUT 28 MILES (44 KMS) SOUTH OF JERUSALEM IS HEBRON, WHERE DAVID WAS ANOINTED KING. THIS IS SAID TO BE ONE OF THE OLDEST TOWNS IN THE WORLD. THE MASSIVE STONE MOSQUE THERE IS CALLED THE MOSQUE OF ABRAHAM, AND CONTAINS THE TOMB OF THE FATHERS, WHERE ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB ARE BURIED.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEODTVVXJVJAASX4NU1P9EYZ5H
    Media URN:
    VLVAEODTVVXJVJAASX4NU1P9EYZ5H
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    07/07/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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