Palestine Pioneers Reclaim Land Below Sea Level

An interesting undertaking is now in full swing on the shores of the Jordan, near its confluence with the Dead Sea, writes the Jerusalem correspondent of The Jewish Chronicle, A group of 120 young men and girls have founded a settlement in the Salt Wilderness 1,200 feet below sea level. These youngsters, eighty of whom are from abroad and the remaining Palestine-born, have an average age of just under 20 years. One of them comes from New York.

There is only one concrete house, with two others under construction, a comfortable wooden dining hall, and a modern kitchen, For the rest, the pioneers live in 22 tents. four to a tent.

The settlers brought water from the Jordan and washed out the salt in the soil. reducing the content from 17 to 0.2 per cent. They have already made two-and-a-half acres cultivable, and are growing vegetables–radishes, carrots, onions, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. There is a poultry-run with 250 hens and 130 ducks, a fish-breeding pool, a small carpenter’s shop and smithy, and a tile-making works hop. Thirty of the settlers work for Palestine Potash, Ltd., on the Dead Sea concession.

They live in one of the lowest spots on earth. They have no electricity, no telephone, no radio, On stifling nights, such as the Dead Sea climate brings, they can have no light at all, owing to the blackout. They are pestered by sand-flies, producing the uncomfortable “Jericho boils” on the flesh.

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