JNF Tackling New Project

The Jewish National Fund, which has reclaimed 10,000 dunams of land in southern Israel this year for agriculture and settlement, is now tackling a project aimed at increasing the population in Lower Galilee. The JNF has begun a four-year program to prepare some 1250 acres for use by existing settlements and additional land where an infrastructure will be developed for the absorption of new settlers.

The Galilee project presents a special technical problem in that a sub-soil layer of rock nearly a yard deep must be removed. Ordinary bulldozers have broken down while attempting the task. The JNF is now employing a machine known as “Big Teeth” which can probe the soil to the necessary depth and extract the rocks. It is an adaptation of a sub-soil rock remover used in the United States.

A JNF official reported, meanwhile, that land reclamation work in the south is nearing completion. It includes the preparation of virgin soil for agriculture and the repair, of fields in the Arava district which were destroyed by floods last February.

According to the official, the JNF so far has reclaimed fields for seven settlements in the Negev; reclaimed land in the Arava district for 12 settlements to grow dates, mangoes and field crops; repaired flood damage at Ketura, Grofit and Yotvata; developed 300 dunams at Dikla in northern Sinai and 2000 dunams at other new settlements in the Rafah salient of northern Sinai.

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