Umariya Elementary School

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the courtyard of the school

The Umariya Elementary School is a madrassa in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. It is located at the start of the Via Dolorosa, and is adjacent to the Convent of the Sisters of Zion. Underneath the buildings of the school are remains of the Antonia Fortress.

In 1996, under the orders of the then prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, an exit from the Western Wall Tunnel was opened into the Via Dolorosa underneath the school (specifically, under the school's entrance stairs). This was interpreted by some in the Arabic populace as a land-grab, and over the subsequent week, 80 people were killed as a result of riots against the creation of the exit.[1]

Former students at the school include Abu Nidal, the founder of a militant Fatah breakaway organization.


  1. ^ "Mayor halts Temple Mount dig". BBC. 3 December 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 

Coordinates: 31°46′49″N 35°14′03″E / 31.780325°N 35.234206°E / 31.780325; 35.234206