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July 2008


Circuit "politique" en Cisjordanie
Political Tours of the West Bank
Benjamin Barthe

Le Monde (France) - 11th July 2008
(translated to English. . . . . Original article (French)

Yidiot Article

A labyrinth of metallic turnstiles, electronic detectors and barbed wire fencing under a roof of sheet metal whitened by the sun of Palestine: it is checkpoint of Huwara, gateway to Nablus, the capital of the northern West Bank, and it is there that Thomas and Charlotte, two Parisian thirty year-olds, chose to spend part of their honeymoon.
Arriving in Israel initially to visit a friend in Tel Aviv, the young bridegrooms quickly felt the need to see " the opposite side " of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a few days in Jerusalem, including a visit of Yad Vashem, the painful memorial of the Holocaust, they reserved two places on an 'alternative tour' by an agency which refuses to reduce Palestine to a photo opportunity in front of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, or on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. . . . . More (The author took a tour to Nablus with two weeks ago)

New Tour

. . . . . Taybeh Brewery - The only Palestinian Brewing Company

The Taybeh Brewery was established by two brothers in 1995 in the Christian village of Taybeh about 15 kilometers north-east of Jerusalem.
4 hours - Every Tuesday - The tour will begin with a short tour of settlements and teh Separation Barrier east of Jerusalem and then visit the Taybeh Brewery. There will be a short briefing at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem, then the bus will travel up the 'seam line' road past French Hill, Israel's first settlement to be built after the 1967 war. Traveling on the settler road NE of Jerusalem, the group will see the Palestinian neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina, and the the settlement of Pizgat Ze'ev. The route exits Israel into Area 'C' at the Pizgat Ze'ev Checkpoint and takes the Ramallah by-pass road to Taybeh seeing sections of the Separation Barrier and Palestinian villages. During the trip your guide will discuss the political geography of the terrain and the ramifications for the proposed future Palestinian State.. . . . . . . . . . . more information

Tour Guide Profile

. . . . . Samer Kokaly

TamerSamer is the Operations Manager for the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) in Bethlehem and conducts a variety of tours in Palestine. Established in 1995, ATG operates according to the tenets of justice tourism, that is, tourism that holds as its central goals the creation of economic opportunities for the local community, positive cultural exchange between guest and host through one-on-one interaction, the protection of the environment, and political/historical education. Samer Kokaly works tirelessly to promote a positive image of Palestine and its people and to contribute to establishment of a just peace in the area. He is a graduate of the Thessaloniki University in Greece, and has previously worked as an air steward and with a travel agency. The Kokaly family live in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem with an extended family spread around the world in Spain, Chile, Greece and the USA.. . . . More Guides profiles

New Tour Developments

The Jenin Tour is in development with cooperation from the Freedom Theatre located in the Jenin Refugee Camp. A pilot tour was conducted last week with a private client and a meeting was held by a principal of with Juliano Mer Khamis, General Director of the Theatre, and a Fatah representative from the camp. The itinerary of the tour is being refined and will include transit from Jerusalem, a brief visit in Nablus, a stop at the Roman site of Sebastia between Nablus and Jenin, a visit to the ancient Burqin church near Jenin, then an extended visit to the Freedom Theatre and the Jenin Refugee Camp. This is a lot to pack into one day but will give our guests a good overview of the situation on the ground between Jerusalem and Jenin in addition to visiting important historical and Occupation-related sites.
The Jenin tour will operate once/week beginning in August.
Private tours for any of the published itineraries, or a custom tour, can be scheduled at any time with airport pick-up, flexible itineraries, hotel bookings, and personal service. Custom itineraries can include visits with Palestinian NGOs, villagers, settlers, and activists. Private tour inquiries

Scheduled Tours

Tour Name

Departing from


Greater Jerusalem Jerusalem Every Monday Itinerary & Reservations
Taybeh Brewery Jerusalem Every Tuesday Itinerary & Reservations
Bethlehem Jerusalem Every Tuesday Itinerary & Reservations
Nablus Jerusalem Every Wednesday Itinerary & Reservations
Back Roads to Ramallah Jerusalem Every Saturday Itinerary & Reservations
Hebron & Bethlehem Jerusalem Every Thursday Itinerary & Reservations
Central West Bank Tel Aviv, Hertzliya & Ra'anana Every Friday Itinerary & Reservations
Israel Black Panthers Jerusalem Last Friday of the month Itinerary & reservations
Tours conducted by independent tour guides and in cooperation with ICAHD, Daila, the Alternative Tourism Group, Holy Land Trust, Siraj Center and Dikkum. Palestinian and israeli tour guides conduct the tours.

Message from the Director

I am happy to announce the opening of the Tours In English Blog. The blog is my notepad, documenting thoughts about current tours and destinations and announcing plans for the future as they unfold. There are also postings on interesting aspects of tour destinations and tourism in general in Palestine and Israel. Currently I am posting there every few days and am trying to encourage my tour guides and other experts to upload postings. many of you on this list are experts on travel and destinations in this area. Some of you travel here frequently. If you are interested in becoming an author on the blog, please contact me and make a request.

All the best,

Fred Schlomka

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