Jericho (Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹ Yeriḥo [jeʁiˈχo] is a Palestinian city located near the
Jordan River in the West Bank. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate.
In 2007 it had a population of 18,346. The city was occupied by Jordan from 1948
to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control
was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994. It is believed to be one of
the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Jericho is described in the Old Testament as the "City of Palm Trees." Copious springs
in and around the city attracted human habitation for thousands of years. It is known
in Judeo-Christian tradition as the place of the Israelites' return from bondage
in Egypt, led by Joshua, the successor to Moses. Archaeologists have unearthed the
remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates
back 11,000 years (9000 BCE), almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch
of the Earth's history.
After the collapse of the Ottoman empire at the end of World War I, Jericho came
under the rule of the British Mandate. The British built fortresses in Jericho during
World War II with the help of the Jewish company Solel Boneh, and bridges were rigged
with explosives in preparation for a possible invasion by German allied forces.