The town of Karameh, on the Jordan side of the Allenby Bridge, is rising anew after being almost completely demolished in heavy fighting between Arabs and Israelis in March 1968.
The town of Karameh, on the Jordan side of the Allenby Bridge, is rising anew after being almost completely demolished in heavy fighting between Arabs and Israelis in March 1968. With the help of international aid organisations, new homes are being built, wells repaired and agricultural projects started.
Little had been done since 1968 because of intermittent fighting in the area. But now, with the signing of a peace agreement between Jordanian Government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, rehabilitation has speeded up.
The Lutheran World Federation is making a big effort to provide homes and employment for thousands of refugees in the vicinity. Most of the 60,000 people who once made up the population of Karameh are now living in tents.
Door and window frames are being delivered in large quantities to repair damaged houses, the sheikh of the area supervising their distribution. Land is being cleared and new crops sewn. Eleven farmers have formed a co-operative and planted tomatoes. Other farmers are expecting good crops in the summer.
But although the tempo of resettlement is quickening the threat of war is never far away. Jordanian troops check the papers of all refugees arriving across the Jordan River and from a nearby hilltop an Israeli gun-post commands the area round the bridge.