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Israel opens Jesus baptism site in West Bank

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 12, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.

orthodox-christian-clergy-at-the-baptismal-site-of-qasr-el-yahud-the-spot-where-john-the-baptist-is-said-to-have-baptized-jesus-near-the-west-bank-town-of-jericho-tuesday-july-12-2011

Orthodox Christian clergy at the baptismal site of Qasr el Yahud, the spot where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus, near the West Bank town of Jericho, Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

An Orthodox Christian priest stands near the baptismal site of Qasr el Yahud, the spot where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus, near the...

— Israel has opened what some believe is the baptism site of Jesus to daily visits in a move that required the cooperation of Israel’s military and the removal of nearby mines along the border with Jordan.

Some believe the West Bank site is where John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River.

However, Jordan says a site on its side of the river is where the baptism took place.

The West Bank site has not been regularly open to the public since the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan.

Palestinian Tourism Minister Khouloud Daibes charges that Tuesday’s opening of the site is “illegal.” He calls it part of Israel’s “occupation” and “monopoly” of Palestinian historical and touristic resources.

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