The area was mined during the Six-Day War in 1967. I thought this response from the story was interesting.
Asked whether it bothers him that it has taken so long to clear the minefield and reopen the churches, Theophilos III demurs.“This is the country of prophecies and prophets. Time is not that important,” he says. “One thousand years, it can be one day in the eyes of God. Every time we celebrate Epiphany, every time we celebrate Easter, it is as if the event happened yesterday.”