(Palestine Twitter)-Jericho, أريحا Ārīḥā [ʔæˈriːħɑː],יְרִיחוֹ Yəriḥo, is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently inhabited site on earth. It is also believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Described in the Hebrew Bible as the "City of Palm Trees", copious springs in and around Jericho have made it an attractive site for 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 prehistory.
In 2001, during the Second Intifada, Jericho was retaken by Israel. On 14 March 2006, the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Bringing Home the Goods, in which it took captive six inmates from a Jericho prison following a 10-hour siege. Israel's reason for the siege was to capture PFLP general secretary, Ahmad Sa'adat and five other inmates for the alleged assassination of Israeli tourist minister Rehavam Zeevi. At least two people were killed and 35 wounded in the incident. Before the siege British and American monitors were guarding the prison but withdrew, citing lax security arrangements. The siege caused an uproar amongst the PFLP members and supporters as well as other PLO factions, and as a result Palestinian militants raided and kidnapped British and European citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
After Hamas assaulted a neighborhood in Gaza mostly populated by the Fatah-aligned Hilles clan in response to their attack on Hamas which killed six of its members, the Hilles clan was relocated to Jericho on 4 August 2008