This picture was also taken from the rooftop on Mount Zion, where I stood for Wednesday's picture of a church tower. This is in the opposite direction. I am outside of the Old City, about 1 km to the south.
The highest hill/mountain, with the high rise buildings, is part of Bethlehem. That is on the other side of the wall. I featured the wall in this posting. The wall runs from on top of the hill and follows the ridge to the left until it disappears behind the ridge. Note, that on the Jerusalem side, there are not so many buildings to throw Molotovs at. Like most of the Israeli hills and mountains, the hillside in its natural state is scattered with limestone.
Between where I stand and the nearest buildings, is the Valley of Hinnom - which goes to the right and is split by the greenish hill in the right hand bottom of the picture. The part in the middle joins the Kidron Valley (featured in this picture) to the south. Far down the valley in the linked picture. The Old City of Jerusalem is to the left out of the picture.
This Hinnom Valley is home to Gehenna of the olden days. It is in this valley where some Judean kings, like Ahaz, who decided to worship Baal and Molech, sacrificed some of their children. Naturally, many members of the Judean tribe followed this example. When King Josias, who turned the tribe back to God, cleaned out the Mount of Corruption, he also cleaned out the Hinnom valley. (2Ki 23:10 "And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.")
At some stage the part of the Hinnom close to the city of Jerusalem back then, became the rubbish dump of the city. Parts of the dump were continuously smouldering hotly. Apart from the rubbish burnt in the process, the bodies of executed criminals were also dumped here to burn with the rubbish. The name of the rubbish dump was Gehenna. Gehenna was held forth at the time by the Jews to their children, that Gehenna is the destination of serious transgressors. At some stage in the Bible, Gehenna got translated as 'hell'. The place where the wicked will burn.
Jesus refers to Gehenna a number of times. Two such verses are: Mat 18:9: "It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than with two eyes to be thrown into the Gehenna." and also Mat 23:33, when he addressed the Pharisees: "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you to escape the sentence of Gehenna?" In most translations of these verses, the source text name of Gehenna was replaced with "hell". Makes you think about hell, doesn't it?
And now, people have built their houses in this area, since the rubbish dump was cleared out, long ago.
Enjoy your weekend far from Gehenna.