Residents of the Dead Sea Basin
and Jordanians reside within the Dead Sea basin. The three publics
differ culturally, economically and politically. The Israeli public has
by far the lowest population density within the basin. The total
population of residents is approximately 1,500 individuals. The majority
of the residents reside in agricultural settlements (kibbutzim or
moshavim in Hebrew). The region is divided into two regional
authorities. The southern Tamar regional authority is located within
Israel’s pre-1967 borders whereas the northern Megillot regional
authority is beyond the post-1967 borders.
Any peace agreement with
the Palestinians will most likely result in a shift in Israeli
demographics in the basin. Date farming for export is the most
profitable agricultural activity. Food crops, primarily vegetable crops,
are also grown. The largest industrial activity is the Dead Sea Works
which extracts minerals from the Dead Sea and is the world's fourth
largest producer and supplier of potash products. Tourism is also an
important contributor to the local economy. Most of the employees of the
Dead Sea Works and of the hotels come from outside of the basin.
population in the study area resides in urban and rural communities as
well as in refugee camps. The total Palestinian population in the study
area as of 2002 was 512,238. Most of the communities are located in the
western part of the Dead Sea basin, whereas the eastern part is sparsely
populated. Economic activities are local scale agriculture including
livestock farming (sheep and goats), stone quarrying and olive oil
pressing. Manufacturing and service related industries are practiced in
the urban centers.
On the Jordanian side of
the Dead Sea population estimates are approximately 54,000 people. Rural
farming is the dominant activity. Both fruits and vegetables are grown.
According to land area cultivated, lemons, olives, tomatoes and beans
are the dominant crops. The rural farming community is estimated at
53,000 people. The Arab Potash Company is located at the southern end of
the Dead Sea and produces similar products to that of the Dead Sea Works
in Israel. The company employs 300 people who live on the premises.
There are also three hotels on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.
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