Yafit was built in the 1980s on a plot of rocky land in the Jordan Valley by Israelis attracted by the beauty of the desert. It was named after Yossi Yafa, an IDF commander. In 1992 the founders were joined by immigrants from Russia. In the 1990s, it was one of the largest communities in the valley and a cultural and educational center. Due to drive-by shootings by Palestinians on Route 90, which passes the mountain where the New Testament says Jesus was tempted by the devil, many residents have left.