Tourist a Kalia beach in the Israeli occupied West Bank

Kibbutz Kalia is an illegal Israeli settlement on the North coast of the Dead Sea. It offers bed and breakfast and a private beach and is attempting to tap in on the steady flow of tourists to the area.

Visitors to the area could be forgiven for not realising that Kibbutz Kalia lies in occupied territory. Its a straight drive along route 90 which bypasses Palestinian communities almost entirely. The North coast of the Dead Sea, although only a few kilometres from Jericho, is completely devoid of Palestinian areas and, only when you go inside Carmel Agrexco date packing houses will you see Palestinians. Visible workers on Kibbutz Kalia’s settlement farms are Thai migrants.

Thai migrant workers picking dates in fields belonging to Kibbutz Kalia

Kalia advertises rooms at its guesthouse on a number of websites including http://www.booking.com, http://www.venere.com, http://www.agoda.com, http://www.travelbyclick.net and http://www.webtourist.net. None of these websites make clear that Kalya is in occupied Palestine or that it is an illegal Israeli settlement.

Guest rooms inside Kibbutz Kalia

Behind fences and protected by the IDF

The Kibbutz itself is a fenced and gated unit guarded by an IDF soldier. The guesthouse is run by the kibbutz itself from the main office, which also sells tickets for Kalia’s private beach. Kibbutz Kalia has approximately 300 residents. Inside the kibbutz there is a dairy farm but the main source of income other than tourism seems to be the fields of dates palms stretching toward the border with Jordan.

Dead Sea cosmetics on sale at Kalia beach

Kalia beach, where tourists can swim in the dead sea for around 20 pounds, boasts a shop selling dead sea mud and mineral products packaged by Sea of Spa, Premier and Ahava.

Kibbutz Kalia also runs the other major tourist attraction in the area, Qumran. Qumran is the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls. However, the site is now a stopping point for tourist buses who are taken into a series of gift shops where Ahava, Premier, Revival and Sea of Spa Dead Sea Products are on sale.

Soldier stationed at the Entrance to Kalia

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