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It has been proposed that this page be merged with Levant, under the article: Israel. Discussion to this effect can be held on the former article's talk page.

Israel is a nation founded by the Hebrews in West Asia on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea at the heart of the Levant.

A small country with a millennia-long history, it fell to the might of numerous empires in the 7th century BCE and was extinguished as an independent entity for thousands of years thereafter. Nonetheless, its historical influence far outweighs its size, being the birthplace of the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity, the most populous religion in the world. To the Jews and the Christians, it became synonymous with the "Holy Land". Much of its ancient history is recorded in the Bible, the Abrahamic holy text which contains references to Adam and Eve's rebellion against the Isu and the miracles of the Pieces of Eden—albeit all heavily mythologized.

Because of its sanctified status, it was the target of several military campaigns by the European kingdoms in the Middle Ages to conquer it in the name of Christendom. The Templar Order, a secret organization masquerading as a Christian military order, were particularly active in these Crusades. They vied with their sworn enemies, the Assassins, for possession of legendary relics like the Chalice and the Apple of Eden in Solomon's Temple.

The ancient land of Israel continued to change hands between various empires over the following centuries, with the Jewish diaspora scattered across the globe and heavily persecuted in countries like Spain under the Inquisition and Germany under the Nazis. In 1948, Israel was finally re-established as a sovereign state as a home for the Jewish people.

History

Joseph, one of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel, possessed a Shroud of Eden.[1] Moses led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt and back to Israel with a Staff of Eden.[2] David, the second King of Israel, possessed a Shroud of Eden which helped him defeat Goliath.[1] David's son Solomon built a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant, which contained an Apple of Eden.[3] During the Roman Empire's rule in the 1st century CE, David's descendant Jesus possessed a Shroud, but was crucified by the Order of the Ancients so they could acquire it. However, his disciples recovered the artifact and resurrected their teacher with it. Jesus' cousin John possessed a Staff, which presumably passed to his disciple Peter and his successors to the Papacy.[1]

During the Middle Ages, the Crusader and Saracen occupiers waged wars to control Jerusalem. The Templars became a public Order of Knights after finding the Apple in Solomon's Temple. Despite Jerusalem falling under Saracen control during the Third Crusade, the Knights Templar still had a presence there, guarding the prize that made their fortune and power. Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Malik Al-Sayf and his brother Kadar were sent to steal the Apple: despite Altaïr's arrogance bungling the operation, causing Kadar's death, Malik managed to recover the Apple.[3][4]

To redeem himself, Altaïr was sent to assassinate the nine leaders of the Templar Order: he hunted for Talal and Majd Addin in Jerusalem,[5][6] and Garnier de Naplouse, William of Montferrat and Sibrand in the Crusader-held city of Acre.[7][8][9] Finally, he was sent to kill Robert de Sable in Jerusalem, but the Templars were prepared for him and used Maria Thorpe as a decoy.[10] Altaïr rode to Arsuf, where de Sable was attending a battle with Richard I of England, and defeated him in combat.[11]

By 1511, Jerusalem had been controlled by the Mamluks for at least a century.[12] They arrested the Assassin leader Mujir as an intimidation tactic. He was rescued by Ottoman Assassins sent by Ezio Auditore da Firenze,[13] who continued to expand the Order's presence in Jerusalem.[14] Ezio and Sofia Sartor also stayed in Acre during their quest to open Altaïr's library beneath Masyaf.[15]

Appearances

References

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