Israelis avoiding Old City of Jerusalem on Pesach

Jerusalem's Old City, normally bustling with visitors during Passover, sits empty as fears of terrorism linger.

David Rosenberg,

Damascus Gate Passover 2016
Damascus Gate Passover 2016
Hadas Parush/Flash90

The Old City of Jerusalem, ordinarily one of the most popular venues during the holidays, was virtually empty Sunday afternoon, amid terror fears.

The absence of visitors surprised locals, who despite the ongoing terror wave had anticipated at least some level of holiday tourism.

Daniel, one of the operators of the “Kotel Train” which carries visitors from the entrance of the Old City to the Western Wall, told Channel 2 he was disappointed by the near-total lack of visitors.

“We started operating again after a long hiatus, but so far we’ve had virtually no visitors.”

Just two weeks ago a report by the Shin Bet security agency suggested that the terror wave was finally ebbing, after some seven and a half months of violence.

That lapse in terror proved to be ephemeral, however, with a massive bus bombing in Jerusalem ending the lull after just eight days.

One of the few visitors who did make her way to the Old City admitted that she was had some anxieties about coming.

“I was afraid to come,” Esti told Channel 2, “and my sister told me I was crazy, but if we’re afraid we won’t leave the house at all.”

While the Old City itself has drawn few tourists, the Temple Mount has seen a spike in visitors, with some 800 visiting the holy site on Sunday.




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