From the Jerusalem Post:

A special Knesset session of the Jerusalem Lobby on Wednesday was dedicated to exploring the feasibility of a cable car leading to the Old City, which supporters claim will improve accessibility for tourists with disabilities and reduce traffic. “I remember the cable car on Mount Zion during the War of Independence,” Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said at the opening of the session. “There are things that seem impossible – like a cable car passing over us – because they require more effort on behalf of future generations.” Rivlin added that the traffic from the 150,000 tourists per month in the Old City creates “unbearable crowding” that also stops Jerusalemites from moving freely around their city. Rivlin proposed an economic feasibility study to examine the cost of such an initiative in greater detail. According to a plan from the Transportation Ministry, a cable car could carry up to 4,000 passengers an hour, eliminating the need for some of the 3,000 buses that drive in and around the Old City each month. The plan also stipulated that the cable car would be environmentally friendly and would not harm the view or surroundings of the historic area. The cable car would stretch across the Kidron Valley, from the building that houses the Government Printing Office on Rehov Miriam Hashmonaite, to the Dung Gate. The 1,030-meter-long ride would take approximately 3 minutes, 30 seconds.

The full story is here. I perceive a few obstacles and I wouldn’t rush to buy stock in the company just yet. As best as I can determine, the cable car would begin near the old train station (Miriam HaHashmonait is on its south end and intersects with Hebron Road). In that case, the cable car does not pass over the Kidron Valley at all, but travelers would cross over the Hinnom Valley. A more impressive route would be several hundred meters above the Old City. Jerusalem-cable-car-route Possible cable car route over Hinnom Valley; screenshot from Google Earth


I would not have guessed that there are so many. In an area the size of New Jersey, the land of Israel is blessed with an extraordinary amount of natural beauty and variety. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs describes the abundance in an article posted yesterday.

Looking at Israel on a map, it’s hard to imagine how hundreds of nature reserves could fit into this tiny country along with 7.7 million people. In fact, the roster of about 250 designated Israeli nature reserves and national parks – covering more than a million acres of land — is growing every year.
In addition to well-known sites such as Masada, Ein Gedi, the Hula Valley or Caesarea, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) oversees close to 20 sites each in the Golan Heights/Upper Galilee, Negev/Eilat and Sea of Galilee/Mount Carmel regions; a dozen in central Israel; eight in the Judean Desert and Dead Sea area; and a handful in Judea and Samaria. Overnight camping facilities are available in 26 of Israel’s national parks.
These areas represent an unusually wide variety of landscapes and climates for a single country. In the far north is Mount Hermon with its snow-capped peaks in the winter. In the west is the green Mediterranean-fed landscape and wetlands. In the south are arid expanses of desert. Israel also is home to two unique natural wonders: the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth; and Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater), the world’s largest natural crater.

The article continues here.

What is your favorite national park or nature reserve in Israel? We’ve put together a little poll in which you can give your opinion. Since we cannot list all 250 parks, we have chosen ten of our favorites. Feel free to suggest others in the comments.
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You can see a list of some of the parks in each region of the country (numbered listed in parentheses):

En Gedi Nahal David with waterfalls, tb052307908

En Gedi Nature Reserve