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Photo by: Courtesy of KKL
KKL-JNF to establish 'Arik’s Path' in Ariel Sharon’s memory
By SHARON UDASIN
13/01/2014
The scenic path will run for about 60 kilometers and cross through Sharon's Sycamore Ranch.
 
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund announced plans to commemorate former prime minister Ariel Sharon by naming a 60-kilometer scenic trail in his honor.

Aiming to perpetuate the memory of a man the organization described as “an Israeli hero,” KKL-JNF said it would be naming the trail “Derech Arik” – or “The Arik Trail” in English – at the behest of chairman Efi Stenzler and cochairman Eli Aflalo. The trail is to run for about 60 kilometers and cross through Sharon’s Sycamore Ranch, also winding near the graves of both the prime minister and his wife Lily, according to KKL-JNF.

“Arik very much loved open spaces and the green countryside, and he had a strong connection to the land,” Aflalo said.

Recalling a meeting he had with Sharon in his Jerusalem office, Aflalo described how the prime minister expressed his longing for a little bit of green landscape or trees.

“Unfortunately for Sharon, for security reasons he was isolated from what he loved. He only was able to enjoy the trees and the free and wild nature when he was at Sycamore Ranch,” Aflalo said. “From my acquaintance with Arik, I have no doubt that there is no path and place more fitting to commemorate the intense relationship he had with the land and with our beautiful country.”

In the coming days, the KKL-JNF leaders are to bring their decision both to the organization’s management and to other authorities that will work as partners in establishing the trail. The Arik Trail will follow the channel of Nahal Shikma from the hills by Kibbutz Lahav to Zikim Beach, located about one kilometer north of the Gaza Strip. Once complete, KKL-JNF said, the trail will provide uniquely scenic views, and will also allow for private vehicle travel.

KKL-JNF will establish the Arik Trail in collaboration with the Shikma-Besor Drainage Authority, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the surrounding regional councils.

“The scenic trail that will be in the name of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, a military leader and Israeli hero, will safeguard amazing sites and the history of the people of Israel, and will reflect Arik Sharon’s great actions taken for and his love of the green and beautiful State of Israel,” Stenzler said.
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