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    Jesus baptism site open to public

    The Jordan Valley site where Christians believe Jesus was baptized was reopened to the public last week. The site one of the holiest Christian sites known as Qasr al-Yahud ("Castle of the Jews" ) had essentially been closed for 44 years. It was abandoned following the Six-Day War in 1967. During the military unrest in the Jordan Valley, the Israeli Army placed mines in the area and set up an electric fence to the west of the site. In recent years, the army has permitted pilgrims to visit the site, so long as they coordinate in advance. Now, since its restoration and development, it will be open to all, on a regular basis. Israel's Tourism Ministry funded the work and is promoting the site to tourists abroad.