Climate

Bethlehem, like Jerusalem, can be snowy in winter and enjoys cooler climes in the midst of the otherwise sweltering summer. If you’re seeking Yuletide spirit, bring your woolly jumper and don’t miss out on a crisp, cold Bethlehem Christmas.

Balmier Jericho is the place to escape chillier winter days and can be oppressively hot during the summer months. If you’re considering doing some hiking around Wadi Qelt or elsewhere, spring and autumn are the best times.

Dangers & Annoyances

In recent years, the West Bank has proved largely safe for Western visitors, and the chances of encountering any trouble are unlikely. That said, the West Bank is under military occupation, and the situation is in constant flux. Flare-ups between Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinian youths are not uncommon, particularly on Fridays.

Keep your eye on the news and travel advisories and don't be afraid to email ahead to your hostel or hotel for advice. It goes without saying that tourists should stay clear of protests, particularly those near Israeli checkpoints or settlements and specifically in Hebron, where the situation can escalate quickly.

On entering Israel, you will be asked where you intend to visit, and often whether you intend to travel to the West Bank. If you answer yes, you may be held up for a while.

Media

This Week in Palestine (www.thisweekinpalestine.com) is a free monthly booklet with listings, articles, events and maps related to the West Bank.