The city of Bethlehem - Bethlehem, a city located in Mount Hebron in the Judean Mountains, about 10 kilometer south of Jerusalem. In the past, Bethlehem was part of the State of Israel and is now in the Palestinian Authority (PA). Most of Bethlehem's population consists of Muslims. In the past, most residents were Christians, but the migration of Christians out, to Europe and the United States, and Muslims from the area in to the city, changed the demographic structure. Now Christians constitute about 20% of Bethlehem's population. City of Bethlehem, according to the New Testament, is the city where Jesus Christ was born. However, there is speculation that the Galilean Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus. In the modern city there are remains, indicate the existence of a first-century settlement and the remains of an ancient church and of a synagogue. In Bethlehem, according to tradition there were significant events both to Christianity and Judaism.
According to Jewish tradition King David, was born in Bethlehem. Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem, on the hill it is believed, Jesus was born. At Christmas time the city enjoys tourist stream and economic prosperity. In Bethlehem many hotels offer accommodation at cheap prices in compares to Jerusalem. Beside the Church of the Nativity and discounted accommodation, Bethlehem offers dynamic and attractive markets, authentic food and a friendly local population that meets hospitality. On the northern outskirts of the city of Bethlehem is Rachel's Tomb, is a structure identified as the burial place of Rachel, wife of Jacob and therefore sacred to Jews.
Bethlehem city was dominated by numerous conquerors throughout history and was also destroyed several times. Bethlehem is mentioned in the biblical period, to return to Zion period during the times in which Jesus lived, through the Roman - Byzantine and Arab period. The city's golden age was during the Crusader period, in 1099, When Bethlehem was conquered by them. At that time the city was fortified, and the Church of the Nativity was built. In addition, the northern monastery church was built. In 1187, Bethlehem was captured by Salah al - Din who expels its Christian population. In 1229, Bethlehem was conquered by the Crusaders again until the rise of Sultan Baybars, who destroyed the walls of the city and expelled the priests. During the Ottoman Empire period in the City of Bethlehem, there were many disputes and conflicts between the Orthodox - Greek priests and Catholic priests of the Church of the Nativity control. At the beginning of the 20th century, Bethlehem was occupied by the British during the First World War. In 1948, it was captured by the Jordanians and the in the area were established Palestinian refugee camps. In 1967, Bethlehem was captured in the Six Day War by the Israelis. In 1995 the city passed to the PA.