The Jaffa Gate

The Jaffa Gate was built on the orders of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (the longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566; he restored the Jerusalem city walls, which are the current walls of the Old City of Jerusalem) near the Tower of David and its citadel during 1538-1540. It was the main entrance into the Old City of Jerusalem. The commercial centre and some administration buildings were located alongside the gate.

In the Crusader period, the gate at the same place was called David's Gate. The Arabs call it Bab el-Khalil, the Hebron Gate, because the road from there leads to Hebron. The name Jaffa Gate was given to it because the road from the gate also leads to the seaport of Jaffa. At the end of the 19th century the wall between the gate and the Citadel was pulled down to allow the German Kaiser Wilhelm II and his entourage to enter the city.

In a victory parade on Dec. 11, 1917, after the country had been conquered by the British, General Allenby, Commander General of the British Army, entered the Old City of Jerusalem on foot through the Jaffa Gate.

The gate was later sealed, and only reopened with Israel's victory in the Six-Day War in June 1967, when Jerusalem was reunited. Today, the Jaffa Gate is the main entrance into the Old City from the west, and a very busy place due to the major tourist attractions around it (the Tower of David, the entrance to the Arab Bazar in the Old City, the modern Mamilla commercial and housing district).

The stamp was issued in 1971, as part of a series featuring the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem and commemorating Israel's 23rd Independence Day. It was designed by E. Weishoff.