TIBERIAS (Aug. 29)
Finishing touches are being applied to a development program begun three years ago, aimed at reclaiming 14, 000 acres of barren lands in the vicinity of the Gilboa Mountains, southwest of Lake Tiberias. The project, which is being carried out by the Jewish National Fund, will literally revoke the curse on the area pronounced 3, 000 years ago by King David, admonishing the region to remain barren following the violent deaths there of King Saul and his son, Jonathan.
Work on the project included the construction of some 20 miles of roads along the Jordan frontier to make the area accessible for new settlement. Modern earth-moving equipment removed giant boulders and thousands of acres of brush accumulated over the centuries, to expose rich, fertile soil, where 2, 500, 000 trees were planted.
Closer to Lake Tiberias, another JNF development project is nearing completion at Korazim, where 4,400 acres of land is being prepared for settlement later this year. Overlooking Lake Tiberias, Korazim was recently a base for Syrian infiltrators who harassed Israeli fishermen and frontier settlements. The Korazim area, which was also made accessible by new approach roads, was mentioned in the Mishna in connection with its rich wheat. The project, carried out at a cost of 850, 000 pounds ($476, 000), will provide an area of settlement earmarked for immigrants from England. British Jewry has pledged 250, 000 pounds sterling ($700, 000) to finance the first stages of settlement.