Monday, February 27, 2012

The Gates of Jerusalem -- The New Gate
Part 7 of a Series on the Gates of Jerusalem's Old City

The New Gate (circa 1900), still unpaved
The Old City of Jerusalem is surrounded by four kilometers (2.5 miles) of walls built by the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, in 1540.  Seven gates serve as points of entry into the Old City, but the New Gate is just that -- relatively new.   Unlike the other ancient gates, the New Gate was opened in 1889 by the Ottomans, giving direct access to the Christian Quarter of the Old City.

Benefiting the most were the Christian residents of the nearby Russian Compound and the French Notre Dame hospice across the street.  The New Gate is located between the Jaffa Gate and the Damascus Gate.
"Arab demonstration at the New Gate. Police
cordon stopping the procession, Oct. 13, 1933"
View the Jaffa Gate clash here
In 1933 Arab riots broke out in Jerusalem and clashes with British police erupted at the New Gate and the Jaffa Gate of the Old City.

The riot at Jaffa Gate.  "Demonstrators
 facing police baton charge"


What triggered the 1933 riots? 

According to the British Mandate Annual Report for 1933,
Arab discontent on account of Jewish immigration and the sale of lands to Jews, which has been a permanent feature of political opinion in Palestine for the past ten years, began to show signs of renewed activity from the beginning of 1933, developing in intensity until it reached a climax in the riots of October and November. [Editor's note: 15 years before Israel's creation.] ... This [immigration] increase found its origin mainly in the favourable economic conditions of the country, due to a large extent to influx of Jewish capital and to consequent creation of new openings for employment.

The British report also provided the casualty count as a result of the terrorists:

[T]he collision of Arab demonstrators with the Police resulted in five constables and eleven civilians being slightly injured. The total casualties in the subsequent rioting in Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa and Nablus were one constable and twenty-four civilians killed or died of wounds, twenty-eight constables and two hundred and four civilians wounded.
Iron gates restricted passage
through the New Gate in 1937

In 1938 the British sealed the
New Gate
During the Arab Revolt (1936-1939) British authorities were quick to close the New Gate to prevent free movement of rioters and marauding gangs.

In 1948, Jewish fighters failed to break through the gates of the Old City to relieve the fighters in the Jewish Quarter and to conquer the Old City.

The Israeli Defense Forces captured the Old City in June 1967 and opened the New Gate for traffic and pedestrians.


The New Gate today. (photo
by Daniel Baranek, published
with permission)
See previous photo essays on the Zion Gate, Damascus Gate, Golden Gate, Dung Gate, Jaffa Gate and Lions Gate.

 The next gate: Herod's Gate.

Click on the photos to enlarge.
Click on the captions to see the originals.

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