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Open map of IsraelFlag of IsraelIsrael / Geography /
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Jordan River
Hebrew: yarden
Arabic: al-'urdunnPlay sound

Jordan river, here in Israel.
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Jordan river, here in Israel.
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Jordan river, here in Israel. This is the claimed site of Jesus' baptism.
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River of Israel, Palestine and Jordan, 320 km long, and starts where the Hasbani River of Lebanon, and Banias River from Syria meet.
Sea of Galilee is part of the Jordan River system, and the Yarmuk River of Syria is an important tributary further downstream.
The distance between Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea is 250 km, and constitutes the Ghawr Valley. Most of Ghawr Valley defines the border between first Jordan and Israel, and then Jordan and Palestine. Dead Sea is the outlet of Jordan River.
For Christians, the point where the Jordan River runs out of the Sea of Galilee, is holy and considered to be the place where Jesus was baptized. Many pilgrims come here.
The amount of water carried with the river has been decreasing over recent years, due to exploitation of the fresh water of Sea of Galilee and Yarmuk River of Syria. With peace signed between Israel and Jordan in 1995, more exploitation of the river water will be the result down the Ghawr Valley, especially with agriculture as the dominating recipient.
More economic growth and growing populations will also increase the need of water from Sea of Galilee. Therefore, the Jordan River is expected to carry even less water in the future, with the drastic consequences this will have on the Dead Sea.

By Tore Kjeilen