Mitzpe Yericho

Mitzpe Yeriho

Mitzpe Yeriho (מצפה יריחו, lit. Jericho Lookout) is a communal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Located 20 km east of Jerusalem and 10 km east of Ma'ale Adummim along Highway 1 in the Judean desert, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. In 2007 it had a population of 1,700.

Geography

The village lies on one of the last cliffs marking the edge of the Judean highlands, and overlooks the ancient city of Jericho, the Jordan Rift Valley, and the Dead Sea, whence its name is derived. The climate is dry, with temperatures a few degrees warmer than Jerusalem Temperatures all year round.

History

Originally founded in October 1977 during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, it was supposed to be located on government lands adjacent to Jericho. Due to the objection of then Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, they were moved to Mishor Adumim. Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon suggested a few days later that they relocate to a barren hilltop overlooking Jericho, the current location.

The original settlers to the area where a mixed group of both religiously observant and non-observant Jews. They later split up into two groups, and the non-observant members established a new settlement, Vered Yericho, located in the Jordan Valley below Mitzpe Yericho and closer to Jericho. Still, Mitzpe Yeriho is a community of various traditions and observance levels. While the main synagogue follows Ashkenazi traditions, there is also a popular Sephardi synagogue and a Chabad synagogue.

In 1982 the town accepted then 27 year old Yehuda Kroizer as community Rabbi. Rabbi Kroizer gives regular classes, both in the town as well as in the Yeshivat HaRaayon HaYehudi, the former yeshiva of Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Over 300 families reside in Mitzpe Yericho as of 2005.

Economy

The village is home to several businesses including an electronics facility, and also serves tourism in the nearby Wadi Kelt park and its Byzantine-era Saint George Monastery and Hasmonean-era Kypros fortress.

References

External links

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