עזוז. צילום עזרא צחור

Ezuz

The village of Ezuz is situated on a lookout point adjacent to the Ezuz River, south of Telalim junction. It was originally built as a military stronghold called Beerotayim – named for the two ancient wells Be’er Moshe and Be’er Aharon (be’er is Hebrew for “well”) located beneath it. The name Beerotayim was changed to its current name, Ezuz, due to the fact that another village in Israel was already named Beerotayim before Ezuz officially became a settlement.

The history of Ezuz begins in the 1950’s and 60’s, before the Six Day War. At the time, the area was no-man’s land and therefore military strongholds were erected to guard the border with Egypt. After the Six Day War, the border was changed and the settlements were dismantled. In 1985, after all Jewish settlers had been evacuated from the Sinai Peninsula following the peace treaty with Egypt, the place was given a new lease on life when several idealistic settlers came, instilled with a desire to build a settlement in the heart of the desert with a lifestyle that blends in with the environment.

Ezuz currently numbers 35 families. It is isolated from other communities in the regional council and is basically a lone settlement in the desert. This is the secret of its charm and also what poses its greatest challenges.

The community is made up of self-employed and wage-earning families that support themselves in these very special surroundings. They earn a living mainly from tourism, art and private business ventures relating to agriculture, in addition to other employment such as the Nitzana border terminal, Nitzana Youth Village and local quarries.

The community is still evolving and displays signs of pioneering and a primordial return to nature even in the 21st century. One of the unique characteristics of Ezuz is the social relations among its residents. Since, unlike the more veteran settlements, no local cultural and community institutions exist, communal activities take place in the open space, based on various personal initiatives and bearing a character that differs from the usual routine activities.

Ezuz, a growing community, welcomes desert lovers willing to live in and with the desert as-is and who do not seek to change it; desert lovers who are not afraid of the distance, prefer the natural charm and enormous freedom it affords and wish to join a unique community characterized by warm social ties and an empowering sense of togetherness.