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Mon Dec 22 00:13:43 SAST 2014

Israel opens Jesus baptism site in West Bank

Sapa-AP | 12 July, 2011 18:02
A man dressed as Jesus Christ reads a script before taping a webisode for the gaming website gamechurch.com during the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles Picture: DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS

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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