Jericho: a new peninsula

Jericho: a new peninsula

Jericho is one of the most interesting archeological sites in Palestine and is considered to be the oldest city in today's world. It was called Tell Es-Sultan, according to the Old Testament, as it grew around a spring called 'Ain Es-Sultan. The world's ancient city has a good water supply, a favorable climate, and its land is fertile therefore it has been settled and resettled several times. About 99% of the residents in Jericho depend completely on agriculture as the main source for their income in addition to sheep rearing. Jericho is located in the Jordan Valley approximately 16 km northwest of the northern bank of the Dead Sea and is 825 ft below sea level. Jericho as well as Gaza was supposed to be the first Palestinian area freed from the Israeli occupation under the Oslo agreement.


Jericho is also considered an important city as it connects the West bank with the Jordanian borders. There are only three roads in or out: one to Jordan across the Allenby Bridge, one to the north and another to the south. A Palestinian traveling from the West Bank to Jordan must come through Jericho as to get to Allenby Bridge which is located to the east of the city. Now after closing Ben Gorion Airport for Palestinians, Allenby Bridge became the only way out of Palestine besides Rafah passage, especially for the residents in the West Bank. However, it is very difficult to reach Jericho with all the checkpoints and the trench around it. Sometimes, a traveler must have a special permit to enter the Bridge.


The little town is now surrounded by a trench and sealed off by Israeli troops. The Israelis built a 15 k long trench around Jericho through which they are willing to surround the city and isolate it from the other neighboring villages.  See map of Jericho Trench



In addition to Jericho, the Israeli forces are planning to isolate the northern parts of the Jordan valley. The people need to have special permits to reach their land and work from the Israeli authorities. Most of the people in the northern valleys depend on sheep rearing as well as agriculture. Restrictions on movement in addition to the construction of the Segregation Wall are affecting the local Palestinian residents in and to the Bedwins in that area.


The Israeli forces announced parts of the lands as closed military area under the pretext of being natural reserves and no one will be allowed to have access it. Moreover, in that area the number of animals and birds in the area are decreasing due to the Israeli military intensive training in that area.



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem



Categories: Israeli Violations