In Jerusalem

Walking the ramparts of history

From sultry Mossad stories to classic battles of King Herod, there are several possible walking routes along the Old City walls.

The ramparts atop the Old City walls.
In 1967, Israel began preparing for what became the Six Day War. At the time, Jerusalem was a divided city, and the country’s leaders realized that they lacked information about Jordanian positions on the ramparts atop the Old City walls. But how to lure the soldiers out of hiding so the army could see where they were stationed? Officers came up with a creative solution: They arranged for a shapely Israeli girl to stand on a balcony in the Mamilla neighborhood, across from the Old City walls, and slowly and provocatively to remove her clothing. As Jordanian soldiers exposed themselves in a rush to get a good view, Israeli forces were able to photograph their positions.

Assuming that this was but one of a multitude of Israeli legends, a guide told the story during a tour he was leading at a battle site from the Six Day War. To his astonishment, a woman on the tour declared that every word of the tale was true. She should know, she said, because she was the girl whose job it had been to lure the soldiers out of hiding! Soldiers are no longer stationed on the ramparts patrolling the walls. Today, tourists and Jerusalemites stroll atop those walls for a firsthand view of both old and new Jerusalem.

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