Hi I will be travelling to Israel this fall for the first time. I turning 19 soon and am going to experience the middle east and also for religious pilgrimage to the holy sites of Orthodox Christianity. I will be visiting istanbul to see the Hagia Sophia prior to landing in Tel aviv, one question I have is are there direct taxis or buses to Jerusalem, since that is where i will be staying. Also am i able to visit the west bank, like the cities of bethlehem, jericho, and hebron? I also am wanting to take tour either to petra or cairo, but they both leave from Eilat, is there a bus that transports me directly to eilat from Jerusalem? I am very excited and it is my first time travelling alone, so any tips and advice would be great! One other question is how is the safety right now in israel/jordan due to the ongoing war in Syria and Iraq? I've always wanted to visit Damascus, but I know that is unlikely due to the war. Also what are some great budget efficient places to stay in Jerusalem for a week or so? Since i will be staying in other cities also. Any advice is highly appreciated, Thanks!