60km scenic route in the Negev to be named after Sharon

January 15, 2014 by Ahuva Bar-Lev
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KKL-JNF will commemorate Ariel Sharon, the 11th Prime Minister of Israel, with a 60km scenic route in Nahal Shikma in the Negev, to pass through Sharon’s Sycamore Ranch (Havat Shikmim) and near the graves of the former Prime Minister and his wife Lily.

The road will be named the Arik Sharon Road. The resolution to commemorate Sharon in this way was made by KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler and co Chairman Eli Aflalo, who decided to pave this road.

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Fields and roads in Nahal Shikma. Photo: Doron Gompert

Co-Chairman of KKL-JNF Eli Aflalo, a past member of the Knesset and ex-minister, who was very close to the late Ariel Sharon, relates: “Arik loved the outdoors and green landscapes, and had a very strong connection with the land. One time, when I was at his office in Jerusalem, he told me: ‘Believe me, Eli, if I had a window here, with trees and a green view, it would be like air to breathe.’ For security reasons, the deceased Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was far away from what he loved – the trees and the freedom and wildness of nature, which he enjoyed only when at the Sycamore Ranch. From my acquaintance with Arik, I am certain that there is no better way to commemorate his strong connection with our beautiful land, than by paving a spectacular, beautiful scenic route in southern Israel, near the place he loved so dearly – the Sycamore Ranch.”

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon

Efi Stenzler, World Chairman of KKL-JNF said: “The breathtaking scenic route to be named after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel’s leader and hero, presents amazing sites and showcases the history of the people of Israel. It also reflects Arik Sharon’s great work and love for the beautiful, green land of Israel.”

 In the upcoming days, KKL-JNF directors will act to pass the resolution in the KKL-JNF management and in other authorities that collaborate with KKL-JNF in paving this road in the south of the country. Stenzler says that “Ariel Sharon chose to live on the Sycamore Ranch, and to be buried together with his deceased wife Lily in the Nahal Shikma area, overlooking the scenic route to be named after him.”

The paving of the scenic route is already in progress, and is executed by KKL-JNF, the Shikma – Besor Drainage Authority, the Nature and Parks Authority and the local municipalities. At this stage, the road is divided into two segments – the first segment runs up to Route 40, and the second runs from Route 40 west to the Zikim Beach.

The proposed scenic route runs approximately 60km along the river channel, from the Kibbutz Dvir area to the Zikim Beach. Once Israel’s longest and most beautiful road is complete, with its spectacular unique landscapes, it will be possible to travel in any private car along the entire run of the river, and to take in the beautiful natural and landscape sites, nature reserves, springtime bloom and archeological sites, and enjoy parking areas for outdoor recreation in KKL-JNF forests.

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