What’s the connection between a National Park and a political conflict? Why is it Jerusalem, of all Israeli cities, that has the most national parks, and why are most of them in East Jerusalem? How are archaeological sites and excavations used as tools in the struggle for public opinion, and as a means of taking control of lands belonging to Palestinian residents? These and other questions are some of the topics considered on Emek Shaveh’s tour of the National Parks in East Jerusalem. The tour includes a visit to the Jerusalem Walls National Park, the City of David and Silwan excavations, a trip to the A-Tur neighborhood, and a visit to the “Emek Tzurim” national park, as well as the planned site for the “Mount Scopus Park.”

The tour is approximately four hours in length, and includes travel on a tour bus through East Jerusalem neighborhoods, and light walking.

Pick-up and drop-off point: Gan HaPa’amon – Liberty Bell Park, Jerusalem

Suggested minimum donation to cover costs: NIS 50

To book a group tour, please contact us at: tours@alt-arch.org.

Guiding Walking trail
Maps Entrance to sites
Not Include
There is no food
Entry to paid sites

Binyanei Ha-Uma

We will meet at the bus stop closest to Binyanei Ha-Uma (bus stop for Egged city buses heading to the city center). From here we will take a minibus that will accompany us for the entire tour. During the trip, background will be given about the National Parks Law and its effect on the property rights of the landowners.

The Nebi Samuel site

We will take a walking tour of the Nebi Samuel archaeological site. We will hear about the traditions that make it sacred for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and about the layers and finds excavated there. We will also deal with the recent past of the archaeological mound—the Palestinian village of Nebi Samwil, which until 1971 was situated where the antiquities site is today. We will visit the structure of the mosque and the site of the tomb and go up to a view overlooking Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The village of Nebi Samwil

We will go to the Palestinian village of Nebi Samwil, which is located next to the antiquities site, and look at its houses and school. Here we will deal with the effect of creating a park and nature reserve on the lives of the residents.

Observation point from Mount Scopus

We will drive to the observation point on Mount Scopus overlooking the Judean desert and the Dead Sea to the east, as well as Za’ayyim and at-Tur and the nearby settlements. Here we will discuss the plan for the establishment of the Mount Scopus National Park and the impact it will have on the residents living there.

Lookout over Emek Tzurim

We will walk to the western observation point overlooking the Old City and the neighborhoods of East and West Jerusalem. We will learn about the ‘Emek Tzurim’ National Park, the circumstances surrounding its announcement, and its impact on the residents of the a-Sawaneh neighborhood. We will return to the bus on foot.

Emek Tzurim National Park

We will go to the Emek Tzurim National Park, familiarize ourselves with the ‘Temple Mount Filtration Project’ located there, and examine the political and scientific significance of this controversial project.

End of the tour

Drive back to Binyanei Ha’uma: We will summarize the tour and discuss the role of the national parks in the political discourse and in creating an Israeli hold in East Jerusalem and in Nabi Samuel. We will consider alternatives to the existing situation, such as those that will enable the protection of natural and cultural heritage while taking into account the rights and needs of the nearby residents.

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