Naharayim

Naharayim

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Encyclopedia
Naharayim is a site on the border between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 where an hydroelectric power-plant was established in 1930. The Yarmuk River flows into the Jordan River at Naharayim. The plant, established by Pinchas Rutenberg, produced much of the energy consumed in the British Mandate of Palestine until Israel's War of Independence in 1948. The plant was abandoned and destroyed during the war.

History


Rutenberg, a Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

-born Zionist and engineer immigrated to the Mandate Palestine in 1919. After submitting a plan to the Zionist movement for the establishment of 13 hydroelectric power stations and securing financing for the plan, he was awarded a concession from the British mandatory government to generate electricity, first from the Yarkon River near the Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, and shortly thereafter, utilizing all the running water in western Palestine.

The Naharayim site was chosen for the strong water flow, the ability to regulate the flow through storage in the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

, and the ability to secure the site from attacks by the hostile Bedouin population. Ground work began in 1927 and lasted 5 years, providing employment for 3,000 workers.

Arab Israeli conflict


In the days before Israeli independence, Naharayim was the venue for two meetings between Golda Meir
Golda Meir
Golda Meir ; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel....

 and King Abdullah
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

, in an attempt by Yishuv
Yishuv
The Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv is the term referring to the body of Jewish residents in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel...

 to head off Jordanian participation in the war. The families of the employees were evacuated during April 1948, leaving behind only workers with Jordanian ID cards.

Peace park


The remains of the power station are currently part of the proposed Jordan River Peace Park on Peace Island
Peace Island
The Island of Peace is an Israeli-Jordanian park at the confluence of the Jordan River and Yarmouk River, on the border between Israel and Jordan....

 on the Israel-Jordan border. The project is being spearheaded by the trilateral NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East
Friends of the Earth Middle East
Friends of the Earth Middle East is an organization active in environmental peacemaking in the Middle East.-Group focus and efforts:...

, headquartered in Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, and Amman.