Tag: Jordan Valley

No Palestinian State without the Jordan Valley

In response to Netanyahu’s claim that continued military presence in Jordan Rift Valley vital for Israel’s security, PM Fayyad says only solution to conflict is establishment of Palestinian state within 1967 borders

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking international support for continued Israeli military presence in the Jordan Rift Valley, even in the event of a peace agreement, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday, “There is no Palestinian state without the Jordan Valley.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s proposal for an interim peace deal suffered a blow earlier in the day when British Foreign Secretary William Hague demanded that Israel and the Palestinians resume discussions and seek a breakthrough on a permanent peace deal before the end of the year.

London Meeting

UK: Middle East peace process is too vital to fail / Associated Press

Sycamore tree turns Jericho into a tourism hub

With a giant trunk and boughs towering 60 feet high, a gnarled sycamore near Jericho’s main square has long been touted as the very tree that the hated tax collector climbed to get a glimpse of Jesus.

Now it’s taking center stage in a plan to transform this ancient desert backwater into a tourism hub.

The tree, once tucked obscurely away on a side street, is a featured attraction of a Russian-funded museum complex to be unveiled this month as part of Jericho’s 10,000th birthday celebrations.

At the Oct. 10 launch of yearlong festivities, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will outline ambitious plans for Jericho, a Jordan Valley oasis that bills itself as the world’s oldest and lowest-lying town, at some 780 feet below sea level.

“This is to promote Palestine as a destination,” Palestinian Tourism Minister Khouloud Daibes said of the venture, which includes a resort to be built on the shores of the nearby Dead Sea. The Palestinians even hope for an airport in the area, though both projects hinge on Israeli approval.

Jordan Valley may be hurdle in peace talks

Israelis, Palestinians each stake claim to section of West Bank

The backhoes are busy on housing plots for this new Israeli settlement in the Jordan Valley, and young families, under army guard and toting M-16s, have begun cultivating dozens of acres of land with dates, olives and other crops.