Election Day in Israel is a public holiday. So after voting, my wife and I went with a group of friends to enjoy the day outdoors, in nature. A short, 20 minute drive east of Jerusalem, past the area known as E1, which has been on the news lately, brought us to a small community called Nofei Prat (“Prat Views”), where our trail begins. We parked the cars in Nofei Prat and walked down towards Prat Stream, better known by its Arabic name, Wadi Qelt.
This was my first time visiting Wadi Qelt. Until now, all I knew about it was that a number of Israelis had been murdered there over the years by Palestinian terrorists while enjoying a hike through nature. One of them was a teenager who grew up in my hometown of Ra’anana. On Election Day, however, we felt safe hiking there, while there were many other hikers, both Jewish and Arab, enjoying the day of vacation.
I now know that Wadi Qelt is identified with the biblical Prat River, which is mentioned in Jeremiah, and that along the stream there is an ancient aqueduct from the period of the Second Jewish Temple and king Herod, leading water from Jerusalem to one of Herod’s winter palaces near Jericho. In the first half of the 20th century, the stream was used to supply water to some of the Eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
The stream runs through the Judean desert, a small and vibrant patch of green in a barren yellow landscape.
You can find some more information in the Wikipedia entry. The English entry is a lot shorter than the Hebrew one.
Hebrew Wikipedia link.
English Wikipedia link.
So without further ado, I will let you enjoy some of my photos of Wadi Qelt- Prat stream.
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