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By Efraim Orni

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Escarpments, steep slopes and gorges result in the course of time and typify the limestone areas of the hills. Thin layers of chalky marl are usually interposed between the limestone or dolomite hill strata. As the marl does not suffer from karstic dissolution, most hill slopes in the country have a steplike appearance. , reinforcing the outer edge of each step with a stone wall in order to protect the loose surface soil from being washed down by the rains, As might be expected, karst processes become more intensive toward Galilee with its rainier climate.

305); Qiryat Gat serves as its urban center. southward as part of the national water planning program. The lower section of its bed has been mostly filled since then with sea water or with sewage from the adjacent industrial and residential areas. The absence of wide bends in its course may be ascribed to the powerful flow which overcame rather than avoided the obstacles rising in the river's course. The Yarqon, until very recently, seasonally flooded areas on both banks, thus creating the Petah Tiqwa swamps; these have now been entirely drained by Jewish settlers.

The Poriya Ridge, separating the Yavne'el Valley from the Sea of Galilee, rises in the east. ) grow smaller and more steeply tilted, this part of Galilee has a more mountainous character than the southeast portion. Above the Hittim Vale rise Qarne Hittim, 'the Horns of Hittim,' one of the few identifiable extinct volcanic craters west of the Jordan. In the crater depression lie the ruins of an ancient synagogue; near the hill is Nebi THE HILL REGIONS Scene of the Bet ha-Kerem Valley, between Lower and Upper Galilee.

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