Eshkol National Park

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Eshkol National Park
גן לאומי אשכול
PikiWiki Israel 19167 Blooming in Eshkol Park.JPG
Blooming flowers & dates trees in the park
Coordinates 31°18′29.05″N 34°29′22.19″E / 31.3080694°N 34.4894972°E / 31.3080694; 34.4894972Coordinates: 31°18′29.05″N 34°29′22.19″E / 31.3080694°N 34.4894972°E / 31.3080694; 34.4894972
Eshkol National Park

Eshkol National Park (Hebrew: גן לאומי אשכול‎‎) is a national park located in Northern Negev, Israel, near Gaza.[1] The 875-acre park offers lawns and shaded picnic areas and boasts at its centre the largest spring in the Nahal Besor/Wadi Ghazzeh basin, known in Hebrew as Ein HaBesor and in Arabic as Ein Shellal. The spring taps the near-surface aquifer, which is fed by the runoff of winter rains.[2]

East of the springs,[3] the mound of Khirbet Shellal dominates the landscape. At Shellal ANZAC troops discovered during the World War I Second Battle of Gaza a beautiful floor mosaic depicting a variety of animals,[4] part of the ruins of a Byzantine church. The mosaic is now displayed in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.[2] Shellal is located some 3 km northeast, and across the valley of Nahal Besor/Wadi Ghazzeh, from the more famous biblical archaeological site of Tell el-Farah (South).

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