In 614, the Persians invaded Palestine and captured Bethlehem.
Restricted travel between Jerusalem and Bethlehem has caused great economic hardship on the city.
Bethlehem in recent times has been an agricultural and trade town.
Some researchers believe that these New Testament references actually relate to the town of Bethlehem in the Galilee, not to this town.
In 1099, Bethlehem was captured by the Crusaders, who fortified it and built a new monastery and cloister on the north side of the Church of the Nativity.
The Judean Bethlehem location was the preferred mythical birthplace of Christ, backing up his lineage to King David.
The Bethlehem agglomeration also covers the small towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.
Afterwards, he was forced to run up and down the hills of Sparta yelling his cowardliness and inferiority.
By early May, Bethlehem was the last West Bank city where Israeli forces were still present.
Bethlehem lies 6 miles (10 km) south of Jerusalem, standing at an elevation of about 765m above the sea, thus 30m higher than Jerusalem.
Only in 326 was the first Christian church constructed, when Helena, the mother of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, visited Bethlehem.
On December 21, 1995, Bethlehem became one of the areas under the full control of the Palestinian National Authority in conformance with the Oslo Accords.
Bethlehem was briefly returned to Crusader control by treaty between 1229 and 1244.
Bethlehem (Arabic: Bayt Lahm meaning “House of Meat” and Hebrew: Bet Lehem meaning “House of Bread”) is a Palestinian city in Israel's West Bank and a hub of Palestinian cultural and tourism industries.
On Christmas Day 1100 Baldwin I, first king of the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem, was crowned in Bethlehem, and that year a Latin episcopate was also established in the town.
Fifty years ago, Bethlehem residents were overwhelmingly Christian.
During the Samaritan revolt of 529, Bethlehem was sacked and its walls and the Church of the Nativity destroyed, but they were soon rebuilt on the orders of the Emperor Justinian.
Following an Israeli air attack on April 1, Israeli tanks surrounded Bethlehem.
Bethlehem, however, is distinguished above every other city as the birthplace of "Him whose goings forth have been of old" (Matthew 2:6; comp.
The construction by Israel of the West Bank barrier has had a severe impact on Bethlehem.
In 637, shortly after Jerusalem was captured by the Muslim armies, the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab visited Bethlehem and promised that the Church of the Nativity would be preserved for Christian use.
Prior to the restriction, many of Bethlehem's residents worked in Jerusalem, while the city's restaurants were a favorite destination of many of Jerusalem's residents.
The city of Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, was originally called Ephrath (Genesis 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11).
Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala are currently surrounded by Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks, with the main road to Jerusalem cut off at Rachel's Tomb.
Jordan retained control of the city until the 1967 Six-Day War, when Bethlehem was captured by Israel along with the rest of the West Bank.
In 1187, Saladin captured Bethlehem from the Crusaders, and the Latin clerics were forced to leave, while the Greek Orthodox clergy were allowed to return.
The siege ended with an agreement for 39 militants who had been wanted by the Israeli army to be removed from Bethlehem.
Bethlehem's former mayor, Hanna Nasser, says an estimated 2,000 Christians residing in Bethlehem have emigrated during the period of 2000-2003.
In 1841, Bethlehem came under Ottoman rule once more, and so it remained until the end of the First World War and the imposition of the British Mandate on Palestine.