As part of the "International Year of Deserts and Desertification," the 700 dunam Ambassadors Forest will be planted in the Negev.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesmann)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom together with the Chairman of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund, Yehiel Leket, and Chairman of Amit, Ezra Binyamini, will inaugurate the Ambassadors Forest on Thursday December 29, 2005. The inauguration ceremony will take place in Nahal Karkur, north of Beer Sheva. Also participating will be the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ron Prosor, other senior ministry officials, heads of the local authorities in the area and leading officials from KKL-JNF.

The UN has declared 2006 the "International Year of Deserts and Desertification". The 700 dunam Ambassadors Forest will therefore be planted in the Negev. The Ambassadors Forest will be planted in a green zone that the Jewish National Fund is developing around the city of Beer Sheva. The scarce water resources in the area will be harnessed by a unique approach, enabling the planting of diverse trees, including acacia, carob and date trees in the semi-arid region.

Ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions from Europe, America, Asia and Africa serving in Israel will  attend the inauguration ceremony, and will plant trees at the site. They will also participate in a tour of the western Negev, visiting the communities of Nitzan and Mavki’im, and they will meet with former residents of Gush Katif.