A short account of the Ayalon (Ajalon) Valley, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide
Highway 1, connecting Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, crosses the Ayalon Valley, which is about halfway between the two cities in the lowland area. Historically and archeologically, this 40 sq km. (15 sq.mi.) valley is a very important area. A tour in the valley is a succession of stories about biblical, historical and modern events and battles over the two traditional roads to Jerusalem.
Standing on two different hills above the valley one can remember:
- The battle of Joshua against the five Canaanite kings (presumably in the 13th century BCE), in which Joshua stopped the sun and moon from moving until he completed his victory (Joshua 10).
- The Emmaus battle between Judah the Maccabee and the Hellenistic army in 165 BCE (Second Temple time) and Judah Maccabee’s victory.
- Jesus appearing in the city of Emmaus after his resurrection (Luke 24).
- The battle between the Arabs and Byzantines in 638, and the end of the city.
- Battles between the Crusaders and the Arabs in the 12th century.
- The battle between British General Allenby and the Turkish Ottoman army in 1917.
- Battles between the Israeli and Jordanian armies in 1948 over this very strategic area on the highway to Jerusalem.
These hills area east of the valley contained four Arab villages until 1967. During the Six Day War, Israel conquered the area from Jordan, evacuated the villages, and turned the area into a beautiful archaeological and nature park, naming it Canada Park..