The winter’s rainy weather forced the Israel National Parks Authority to close
the popular Ein Fara nature reserve on the outskirts of Jerusalem after a giant
boulder fell on the hiking path.
However, the INPA decided to close the
site only to rock climbers and continue to allow hikers in the area, despite the
fact that the INPA is still conducting surveys to determine if the site is safe
from additional rock fall.
Members of the Israel Climbing Club claim that
the move to bar climbers from the site is part of the INPA’s long-standing
distrust of the climbing community. Climbers flock to Ein Fara year-round as it
is one of the best places close to Jerusalem for outdoor rock
make any sense – what fell is much closer to the [hiking] path than where we
climb,” said Yair Cohen, a committee member of the Israel Climbing Club. “There
is no connection with the climbers... it’s simply easier to close it to us than
to hikers because we’re a smaller group.”