Jericho Guidebook

32 pages. English, German & French versions. 3 US$.
Excerpt
The city of Jericho is 36 km northeast of Jerusalem at an altitude of
250 m below sea level. It is thus the lowest living town on the face of the earth. It is a favorite winter resort due to its moderate climatic conditions, open coffee shops, public parks, broad streets, tourist hotels and restaurants.
It is certainly the best tourist destination in Palestine during the winter months, January to April, but the people who come here in the winter leave it in the summer for the mountainous regions, especially Ramallah and Jerusalem. The climate is almost tropical with long, hot, dry summers and mild, briefly wet winters. The annual average temperature here ranges around 24 degrees centigrade. The temperature can, however, reach 48 degrees in summer, and drop to 3.6 degrees in winter.
The average annual humidity is around 50 %, and rainfall averages about 150 ml a year. In this climate, crops ripen two months ahead of those in the rest of the country and the surrounding countries of the Middle East. Agriculture has dominated the life of the people of Jericho. Major crops are: tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, citrus fruits, bananas, and dates. The bananas, dates and citrus fruits of the region are probably the tastiest in the world, you should try them while in Jericho.
The half hour-drive from Jerusalem to Jericho is truly a spectacular journey. There are a number of important historical and religious sites along the road that one should not miss. The area is a semi desert of about 500 kmĀ² that sustains no life except in the Wadis. This desert is known locally as Barriyat al-Quds or the wilderness of Jerusalem, part of the Judean Desert. In ancient times, monks and hermits came to meditate and pray in its silence, and Bedouins migrated into it for centuries in search of winter pasture for their flocks. Lately, a couple of Israeli settlements have sprung up the desert, displacing the desert Bedouins of the Jahalin and Ka’abna tribes. The settlements obtain their water by digging very deep wells that reach water beds, thus affecting the natural water flow down to Jericho.