Nebi Samwil - Kever Shmuel HaNavi
Nebi Samwil is located on a hill (908 m. above sea level), some 5 km north of Jerusalem. It controls the roads leading to the city from the north: the road from the Coastal Plain in the west and that from Samaria to the north of Jerusalem. It was first settled at the end of the First Temple period (8th-7th centuries BCE) and continued to exist during the Persian period (6th-4th centuries BCE). During the Crusader period Nebi Samwil gained symbolic significance, because from here, after a three-year journey, the Crusader army had its first glimpse of Jerusalem. The Crusaders constructed a fortress there, to protect the northern approaches to Jerusalem from Muslim raids. Convoys of pilgrims also found shelter within its walls on their way to the Holy City.
“The archaeological excavation have identified a Biblical city at the site, starting from the 8th-7th C BC, with remains from the Persian period (6th C - 4th C BCE). There are some tombs located around the hill which are dated to the first-temple period.” On the east side of Nebi Samuel, the archaeologists reconstructed a well preserved section of a village dated to the Hasmonean/ Maccabaeus period (2nd-1st c BCE).
Nebi Samwil was identified by the Crusaders as the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet, who at led the Jewish people during the period of the Judges and at G-d's directive annointed Saul and David as kings over Israel..
Mount of Olives - Har HaZeitim
The Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetary in the world, dating back to the First Temple Period. Its location opposite the Temple Mount made it extremely desirable as a burial site. Jewish traditions holds that the final resurrection of the dead in the messianic era will begin from the Mount of Olives Buried within the cemetary are many important firgures in Jewish history such as the prophets Hagai, Zachariah and Malachi, Absalom, King David’s son, Ohr ha-Chaim Ha Kadosh, Rabbi Chaim ben-Attar, Rabbi Yehuda Alcalay, Hassidic rebbes of various dynasties, Rabbis of "Hayeshuv Hayashan" (the old – pre-Zionist - Jewish settlement), Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, the first Askenazic Chief Rabbi, Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah Organization; Poetess, Elza Lasker-Schiller, Eliezer ben Yehuda, the father of Modern Hebrew; Sh. Y. Agnon, the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Boris Schatz, the founder of the Bezalel School of Art; Israel's sixth Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, the victims of 1929 and 1936-39 Arab riots and the fallen from the 1948 War of Independence.
The cemetary was captured by Jordan during Israel's War of Independence. During the period between 1948 and 1967, Jordan desecrated over 40,000 graves and built a road throughout the cemetary. Today, Jewish visitors still encounter harrassment and Arab grave desecration.
Hussein's Palace - Biblical Giv'at Shaul
Located in northern Jerusalem between the neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze'ev and Shuafat lies the shell of King Hussein of Jordan's summer palace Intended to be a royal vacation residence, the construction was begun on the palace in the early 1960s and were interruped by the outbreak of the 1967 Six Day War.
The hill is 2,754 ft above sea level, making it one of the highest summits in the region. Archaeologists generally identify this site as the biblical Giv'ah, King Saul's capital in the tribal portion of Benjamin. The Israeli Archaeological Departments rank the site the second most important archaeological dig in the country, after the City of David. Excavations were carried out for nearly a hundred years, from 1868 until 1964. Due to the sensitive nature of the site, there have been no archaeological work on the site since its liberation in 1964.
The historic Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood, now undergoing renewal and resettlement, has for hundreds of years centered around the tomb of Shimon the Just, one of the last members of the Great Assembly, and High Priest during the Second Temple Period (4th century BCE). His famous teaching is recorded in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers): "Shimon the Righteous was among the last surviving members of the Great Assembly. He would say: ‘The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness."
Despite belonging to Arabs for many years, in 1876 the cave and the nearby field were purchased by Jews, involving a plot of 18 dunams (about 4.5 acres) that included 80 ancient olive trees. The property was purchased for 15,000 francs and was transferred to the owner through the Majlis al-Idara, the seat of the Turkish Pasha and the chief justice. When the Arab Revolt began in 1936, there were hundreds of Jewish families living in Shimon HaTzaddik. Many fled for several months, but the neighborhood continued to be inhabited by Jews until the War of Independence. During the 19 years of Jordanian occupation, Jews were barred from visiting the site.
After 1967, control over Jewish-owned property in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood that had been seized by Arabs was transferred from the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property to the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property. In 1972 the Israeli Custodian released the land back to its owners (the Committee of the Sephardic Community and the Ashkenazi Assembly of Israel). In 1988 the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the 28 Arab families living on the premises enjoy the status of "Protected Residents," but that the ownership of the land belongs to the two Jewish organizations. Over the next years, a process of eviction of Arab families begun, with their replacement by Jewish families.