Opposite the Church of the Nativity and named after the second Muslim caliph, Omar Ibn Al Khattab, this is the only mosque in Bethlehem’s Old City. It was built in 1860 on land granted by the Greek Orthodox Church in honour of Omar, the Prophet Muhammad's father-in-law, who in 637 took Jerusalem from the flagging Byzantines and then stopped for prayer at the Christian Church of the Nativity.

He declared, in his Pact of Omar, that the basilica would remain a Christian shrine, and that Christians, even under Muslim rule, would remain free to practise their faith.