Passover Hike to Solomon’s Pools in 'Area A' of Gush Etzion
An ancient set of pools that supplied the Jewish capital with drinking water for centuries is to be the centerpiece of a guided tour by the Kfar Etzion Field School this Sunday.
Solomon’s Pools are comprised of five monumental Herodian pools and an aqueduct which fed water to the city of Jerusalem for nearly 2,000 years.
Located in south-central Judea about 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) southwest of Bethlehem, the pools are full this year, due to the abundant winter rains.
Roman engineers under King Herod created the underground tunnel feeding the upper pool -- the aqueduct -- in connection with Herod's improvements to the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
The upgrades were so sophisticated and so well-constructed that the system worked all the way through the centuries – until 1971 – when modern plumbing took over for the ancients.
“Finally, under IDF security we are able to return to the beloved lands of our heritage surrendered to the Palestinian Authority after the Oslo Accords,” noted school principal Yaron Rosenthal.
The pools themselves are located in “Area A” of Judea, a sector that is marked off-limits to Israelis and is under the complete administrative and military control of the Palestinian Authority government.
The visit is being conducted under IDF security, with PA government cooperation.