January 3rd 2015
In the Judean Desert, on the way from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, lies a relatively small Jewish community of about 450 families known as Mitzpe Jericho, where an Observation Deck attraction is set to open in the months ahead. The name Mitzpe Jericho literally means Jericho Lookout, and the spot is so named because it overlooks the ancient city of Jericho, believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The modern city of Jericho is currently under Palestinian governance.
On a rainy evening in 2008, there was a deadly car accident at the entrance to Mitzpe Jericho. Four young boys were killed in the accident, including two brothers, Shlomo and Yishai Kroizer, sons of the community’s rabbi. In memory of the four boys, an observation deck, scheduled to open in 2013, is being built at the top of what locals call “the givah,” the hill. Private cars will be able to drive up the snake-like path to the observation deck. When completed, it will feature a covered building surrounded by a lush garden. From there, it will be possible to take in stunning panoramic views of the Dead Sea, the ancient city of Jericho, the Jordan River and the surrounding Judean Desert for which the community of Mitzpe Jericho is well-known.
Nearby is the Nachal Prat nature reserve, also known as Wadi Kelt. Visitors to Nachal Prat can enjoy taking a dip in one of the naturally formed rock pools – or just soak in the plant and animal life in the nature reserve. The trails marked with red, blue and green provide varying levels of hiking experiences, including a trail suitable for all visitors in wheelchairs and strollers.