Jericho ( /ˈdʒɛrɪkoʊ/; Arabic: أريحا ʾArīḥā ; Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹ Yeriḥo ) is a Palestinian city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate. In 2007 it had a population of 18,346. The city was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994. It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Jericho is described in the Old Testament as the "City of Palm Trees." Copious springs in and around the city attracted human habitation for thousands of years. It is known in Judeo-Christian tradition as the place of the Israelites' return from bondage in Egypt, led by Joshua, the successor to Moses. Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE), almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.