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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Beit Sahour with other popular and interesting places of Palestinian Territory, for example: Jenin, Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, etc.
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Hotels of Beit Sahour
A hotel in Beit Sahour is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Beit Sahour hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Beit Sahour are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Beit Sahour hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Beit Sahour hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Beit Sahour have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Beit Sahour
An upscale full service hotel facility in Beit Sahour that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Beit Sahour hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Beit Sahour
Full service Beit Sahour hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Beit Sahour
Boutique hotels of Beit Sahour are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Beit Sahour boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Beit Sahour may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Beit Sahour
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Beit Sahour travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Beit Sahour focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Beit Sahour
Small to medium-sized Beit Sahour hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Beit Sahour traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Beit Sahour hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Beit Sahour
A bed and breakfast in Beit Sahour is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Beit Sahour bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Beit Sahour B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Beit Sahour
Beit Sahour hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Beit Sahour hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Beit Sahour
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Beit Sahour hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Beit Sahour lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Beit Sahour
Beit Sahour timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Beit Sahour often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Beit Sahour on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Beit Sahour
A Beit Sahour motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Beit Sahour for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Beit Sahour motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Location of Beit Sahour within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: / 31.700; 35.217 / 31.700; 35.217
• Head of Municipality
6,945 dunams (6.9 km or 2.7 sq mi)
"House of the magicians"
Beit Sahour Municipality
Beit Sahour (Arabic: بيت ساحور pronounced Bayt Saahoor(help·info)) is a Palestinian town east of Bethlehem under the administration of the Palestinian National Authority. The population of 12,367 is 80% Christian (most of them Greek Orthodox) and 20% Muslim.
There are two enclosures in the eastern part of Beit Sahour that are claimed by different Christian denominations to be the actual 'Shepherds Field': one belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church and the other, the Catholic site, to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.
The name Beit Sahur belongs to two places in the vicinity: Beit Sahur al-Atiqah ("ancient Beit Sahur") and Beit Sahur an-Nasara ("Beit Sahur of the Christians").
Beit Sahour: Beit Sahur al-Atiqah
Beit Sahur al-Atiqah (Palestine grid 171/123) surrounded the tomb of Sheikh Ahmad al-Sahuri, a local saint to whom the local Arab tribe of al-Sawahirah attribute their name. The Sawahirah originate from the Hejaz and entered Palestine through al-Karak. Mujir al-Din mentions this place in a biography of a Muslim scholar Sha'ban bin Salim bin Sha'ban, who died in Beit Sahur al-Atiqah in 1483 at the age of 105.
In 1596, Beit Sahour al-Wadi appeared in Ottoman tax registers as a village in the nahiyah of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. Beit Sahour al-Wadi had a population of 40 Muslim households. The villagers paid taxes on wheat, barley, vines or fruit trees, and goats or beehives.
The place was noted by French geographer Guerin in 1863 as being 40 minutes south-east of Jerusalem, a short distance south of the Qidron Valley.
An Ottoman village list from about 1870 showed that Beit Sahour et-Tahta ("the lower Beit Sahour") had a population of 66, with a total of 17 houses, though the population count included men only.
In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described the place as: "Ruins of a village with wells and a mukam." Clermont-Ganneau found here several old tombs in the 19th century.
Beit Sahour: Beit Sahur an-Nasara
Church at Shepherd's Field
Beit Sahour (Palestine grid 170/123) is reputed to be close to the place where, according to the New Testament, an angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. According to tradition, St. Helena built a convent at the site, which is today known as the shepherd's cave. The Franciscans acquired a shrine there in 1347.
Beit Sahour: Ottoman era
Beit Sahour, like the rest of Palestine, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and in the census of 1525-6 (932 AH), Beit Sahur an-Nasara had 5 Christian and 7 Muslim households, increasing in 1538-9 (945 AH) to 8 Christian and 8 Muslim households. By 1553-4 (961 AH) 13 Christian and 21 Muslim households were noted, and in 1562-3 (970 AH) 9 Christian and 17 Muslim households were counted. In 1596, Beit Sahur an-Nasara was registered as a village in the nahiyah of Quds of the Liwa of Quds, with a total population of 24 households; 15 Muslim and 9 Christian. The villages paid taxes on the same products as the villagers of Beit Sahur al-Atiqah.
The Franciscans ceased holding religious services at the shrine by Shepherd's Field around 1820. In 1864 a new Roman Catholic church and school were completed. An Ottoman village list from about 1870 showed that Beit Sahour el-foka ("the upper Beit Sahour") had a population of 37 "Latins" in 11 houses, and 187 "Greeks" in 48 houses, though the population count included men, only.
In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Beit Sahur as: "This village is a sort of suburb of Bethlehem, situated on the same ridge, with the broad plateau east of it known as the 'Shepherd's Field'"... [with] the small Greek Church of the Grotto of the Shepard, a subterranean chapel reached by 20 steps, containing pictures and mosaic. Above the vault are ruins with a Latin altar. Bait Sahur contains a well-built modern house belonging to the Latin curé, and is surrounded with olives and vines."
A construction text, dating to 1897, engraved in the lintel of a door in the Municipality Street has been examined, and was found to be a poem in 19th century Christian naskhi script.
Beit Sahour: British Mandate era
In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Bait Sahur had a population 1,510; 285 Muslims and 1,234 Christians, increasing in the 1931 census to 1,942; 395 Muslims and 1,547 Christians, in a total of 454 houses.
In 1945 the population of Beit Sahour was 2,770 Arabs, who owned 6,946 (rural) and 138 (urban) dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey. 1,031 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 3,641 for cereals, while 100 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
Beit Sahour: 1948-1967
In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Beit Sahur came under Jordanian rule.
Beit Sahour: Post 1967 era
Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Beit Sahour has been under Israeli occupation. The population in the 1967 census was 5,380.
Beit Sahour: Economy
The town's economy is largely based on tourism and related industries, such as the manufacture of olive-wood carvings. Agriculture and work in Israel also play a significant role. The town had a prominent role in the Palestinian national "Bethlehem 2000" project, as extensive renovations of tourist sites, hotels and businesses, and historic sites were carried out prior to the millennium celebrations.
During the First Intifada, residents in the town had attempted to develop their own dairy industry-a move resisted by Israeli authorities. These efforts were documented in 2014 film The Wanted 18, co-directed by Palestinian filmmaker Amer Shomali and Canadian Paul Cowan.
Social and economic development were disrupted by the Second Intifada.
Beit Sahour: Political activism
Lane in Beit Sahour
Beit Sahour is a center of Palestinian political activism. The town played a key role in the First and Second Intifadas, with local activists pioneering nonviolent resistance techniques. During the First Intifada and the Second Intifada, the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between Peoples (PCR) based in Beit Sahour encouraged non-violent activism under the aegis of the International Solidarity Movement. George Rishmawi is director of PCR. During the First Intifada, the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between Peoples issued an invitation to Israelis of goodwill to come and spend a weekend (Shabbat) in Palestinian homes using the slogan “Break Bread, Not Bones”.
The Alternative Information Center is also partly based in the town. Elias Rishmawi, a member of the Beit Sahour council, is co-founder, together with Ghassan Andoni, Majed Nassar, Rifat Odeh Kassis and Jamal Salameh, of the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG), a non-governmental organisation specializing in tours of the Palestinian territories, where the olive harvest is used as a backdrop for showing the effects of the Israeli occupation and land confiscation on the Palestinian population.
Beit Sahour: Tax resistance
In 1989, during the First Intifada, the Palestinian resistance (Unified National Leadership of the Uprising, UNLU) and Ghassan Andoni and Kamel Danoun, urged people to stop paying taxes to Israel, which inherited and modified the previous Jordanian tax-collection regime in the West Bank. “No taxation without representation,” said a statement from the organizers. “The military authorities do not represent us, and we did not invite them to come to our land. Must we pay for the bullets that kill our children or for the expenses of the occupying army?” The people of Beit Sahour responded to this call with an organized citywide tax strike that included refusal to pay and file tax returns.
Israeli defense minister Yitzhak Rabin responded: “We will teach them there is a price for refusing the laws of Israel.” The Israeli military authorities placed the town under curfew for 42 days, blocked food shipments into the town, cut telephone lines to the town, tried to bar reporters from the town, imprisoned ten residents (among them Fuad Kokaly and Rifat Odeh Kassis) and seized in house-to-house raids millions of dollars in money and property belonging to 350 families. The Israeli military stopped the consuls-general of Belgium, Britain, France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden when they attempted to go to Beit Sahour and investigate the conditions there during the tax strike.
Israel’s military occupation had the authority to create and enforce taxes beyond the baseline Jordanian code enacted in 1963 in areas formerly administered by that country, including Beit Sahour. During the Intifada, they used that authority to impose taxes on Palestinians as collective punishment measures to discourage the Intifada, for instance “the glass tax (for broken windows), the stones tax (for damage done by stones), the missile tax (for Gulf War damage), and a general intifada tax, among others.”
The United Nations Security Council considered a resolution demanding that Israel return the property it confiscated during the Beit Sahour tax resistance. The United States vetoed the resolution, which was supported by the other eleven council members.
Beit Sahour: Development projects
‘Ush Ghurab, a hill occupied by a military base until 2006, is now the site of a development project. A restaurant, a climbing tower, a football field and a park are being built on the hillside. The municipality of Beit Sahour also has plans for a hospital and a sports center.
Beit Sahour: Municipal government
In the 2005 municipal election, two lists gained seats in the municipal council. Eight seats went to 'United Beit Sahour' and five to 'Sons of Beit Sahour'. The most popular vote was for Hani Naji Atallah Abdel Masieh of United Beit Sahour with 2,690 votes, followed by Elen Michael Saliba Qsais of Sons of Bethlehem with 2,280 votes.
Beit Sahour: Demography
According to the 1984 census, there were 8,900 Beit Sahouris. 67% were Greek Orthodox, 17% were Sunni Muslim, 8% were Roman Catholic, 6% were Greek Catholic and 2% were Lutheran.
Beit Sahour: International relations
Beit Sahour: Twin towns – Sister cities
Beit Sahour is twinned with a lot of cities and communes across the world
Province of Piacenza
Beit Sahour: Notable residents
Rifat Odeh Kassis
Beit Sahour: See also
Beit Sahour: References
Bethlehem University Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
Palmer, 1881, p. 286
2007 PCBS Census Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.117.
History, Economy, and Tourism Beit Sahour Municipality.
Sharon, 1999, p. 154
The ancient Beit Sahur, also called Beit Sahur of the valley, according to Palmer, 1881, p. 287
Sharon, 1999, p. 155
Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 119
Guérin, 1868, p. 207; partially cited in Sharon, 1999, p. 154
Socin, 1879, p. 147
Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, pp. 85-86; cited in Sharon, 1999, p. 155
Clermont-Ganneau, 1899, vol 1, p. 435
Guérin, 1868, p. 213; partially cited in Sharon, 1999, p. 154
Kildani, 2010, p. 332
Toledano, 1984, p. 312
Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 115
Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 29; partially cited in Sharon, 1999, p. 154
Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Bethlehem, p. 18
Mills, 1932, p. 35
Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 56
Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 101
Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 151
Perlmann, Joel (November 2011 – February 2012). "The 1967 Census of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Digitized Version" (PDF). Levy Economics Institute. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
Cullen, Patrick. "REVIEW: The Wanted 18". Point of View. Documentary Organization of Canada. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
PCR annual report
Beit Sahour municipality council members biographical details
Joint Advocacy Initiative Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Alternative Tourism group Olive Picking Program 2008
Local Government in the West Bank and Gaza (says parenthetically that the property tax “rate and base” were “unchanged since 1963”)
Baxendale, Sidney J. “Taxation of Income in Israel and the West Bank: A Comparative Study” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Spring, 1989), pp. 134-141 "it retained the Jordanian tax law"
Gradstein, Linda “Palestinians Claim Tax is Unjust, Many Don’t Pay” [Ft. Lauderdale] Sun-Sentinel 8 October 1989, p. 12A
Sosebee, Stephen J. “The Passing of Yitzhak Rabin, Whose ‘Iron Fist’ Fueled the Intifada” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. 31 October 1990. Vol. IX #5, pg. 9
Grace, Anne “The Tax Resistance at Bayt Sahur” Journal of Palestine Studies 1990
New York Times Lewis, Anthony “It Can Happen There” 29 October 1989, p. E23
Curtius, Mary “Palestinian Villagers are Defiant After Israeli Troops End Tax Siege” Boston Globe 2 November 1989, p. 2
Williams, Daniel “Israeli troops withdraw after failing to stop tax revolt” Austin American Statesman. 1 November 1989, p. A6
“Israel abandons attempt to crush town's tax revolt” The Ottawa Citizen 1 November 1989, p. A10
“Food to West Bank Town Blocked” The Washington Post 28 October 1989, p. A18
“Israelis stop bishops from helping besieged town” The Ottawa Citizen 28 October 1989, p. A10
Sela, Michal “Elias Rashmawi’s ‘Tea Party’” Jerusalem Post 29 September 1989, p. 9
Williams, Daniel “Anti-Israel Boycott: Tax Man Cometh, but an Arab Town Resists” Los Angeles Times 9 October 1989, p. 10
“Envoys turned back on road to Beit Sahour” The [Toronto] Globe and Mail 7 October 1989, p. A9
“Israeli Troops Bar Western Envoys” Los Angeles Times 6 October 1989, p. 1
“A Matter of Justice: Tax Resistance in Beit Sahour” Nonviolent Sanctions Albert Einstein Institution, Spring/Summer 1992
“U.S. vetoes UN resolution that Israel return property seized in tax revolt” The [Montreal] Gazette. 8 November 1989, p. A14
Middle East Report Online Bypassing Bethlehem’s Eastern Reaches
West Bank Local Elections ( Round two)- Successful candidates by local authority, gender and No. of votes obtained, Beit Sahour p 24
Glenn Bowman, 'A Death Revisited: Solidarity and Dissonance in a Muslim-Christian Palestinian Community,’ in Ussama Samir Makdisi,Paul A. Silverstein (eds.) Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa, Indiana University Press, 2006 pp.27-48 p.30.
Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
Clermont-Ganneau, Charles Simon (1899). [ARP] Archaeological Researches in Palestine 1873-1874, translated from the French by J. McFarlane. 1. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.
Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1883). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. 3. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. 29; 29, 85 (Beit Sahur al-Atiqah)
Guérin, Victor (1868). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 1: Judee, pt. 1. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
Kildani, Hanna (2010). Modern Christianity in the Holy Land. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781449052843.
Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838. 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. (pp. 157, 159, 171)
Toledano, E. (1984). "The Sanjaq of Jerusalem in the Sixteenth Century: Aspects of Topography and Population". Archivum Ottomanicum. 9: 279–319.
Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 2: 135–163.
Beit Sahour: External links
Beit Sahour Municipality
History of Beit Sahour residents
Beit Sahour City
Welcome To The City of Bayt Sahur
Survey of Western Palestine, Map 17: IAA, Wikimedia commons
Beit Sahour City Profile
The priorities and needs for development in Beit Sahour city based on the community and local authorities’ assessment
Beit Sahour, A living Heritage on YouTube
Cities administered by the State of Palestine
Rawabi (under construction)
From June 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under de facto Hamas governance.
Bethlehem (Beit Lahm)
Jurat ash Sham'a
Conscientious objection to military taxation
List of historical acts of tax resistance
List of tax resisters
Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera
All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation
Anti-Poll Tax Unions
Association of Real Estate Taxpayers
Catalunya Diu Prou
Committee for Non-Violent Action
Irish National Land League
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
Northern California War Tax Resistance
Women's Tax Resistance League
An Act of Conscience
The Cold War and the Income Tax: A Protest
Cornish Rebellion of 1497
Revolt of the Pitauds
Revolt of the papier timbré
Revolt of the va-nu-pieds
Salt Tax Revolt
Boston Tea Party
No taxation without representation
Philadelphia Tea Party
Revolt of the Comuneros (New Granada)
War of the Regulation
White Lotus Rebellion
Dog Tax War
Hut Tax War of 1898
Tancament de Caixes
Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha
Poll Tax Riots
Poplar Rates Rebellion
Anti-austerity movement in Greece
Anti-Bin Tax Campaign
Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes
Movimento Passe Livre
Income tax threshold
Render unto Caesar
Taxation as slavery
Taxation as theft
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