Banias River

Banias River (Arabic: نهر بانياسNahr Baniyas; Hebrew: נחל חרמוןNahal Hermon)[3] is a river in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It is the easternmost of the three main northern tributaries of the Jordan River; together with the Dan River and the Snir Stream, it forms the Jordan River's upper catchment (UCJR).[4] Israel has included the stream in the Hermon nature reserve.

Banias River
Hermon Stream
Physical characteristics
 • locationBanias spring[1]
 • location
Dan River
 • coordinates
33°11′45″N 35°37′32″E / 33.1957°N 35.6256°E / 33.1957; 35.6256Coordinates: 33°11′45″N 35°37′32″E / 33.1957°N 35.6256°E / 33.1957; 35.6256
Basin features
River systemUpper Catchment of the Jordan River
 • leftSa'ar Stream
Pera' Stream
 • rightGuvta Stream
Sion Stream[2]

Course and streamflowEdit

The Banias spring and cave of Pan

The main source of the Banias River is the Banias spring, located at the southern base of the Hermon mountain range and contributing a discharge of 67·million m3 annually. From there the stream flows south for nine kilometers before draining into the Dan River.[1][5] Along the way, it drains the Guvta Stream (right), the Sa'ar Stream (left), the Pera' Stream (left), and the Sion (Ar.: el-'Asl[6]) Stream (right), with a total drainage area of 158 km2. The total annual streamflow of the river comes to 106 million m3.[4]

Flora and faunaEdit

The banks of the river abound in willow trees, oriental planes, silver-leaf poplars, Tabor oaks, Palestine oaks, Mt. Atlas mastics, terebinths, carobs, ferns, giant canes, and various vines.

The stream is home to a variety of fluvial fish, including longhead barbel, large-scale barbel, Damascus barbel, and tilapia. Living and roaming around the stream or in it are wild boars, Syrian rock hyrax, swamp cats, nutria, and Indian porcupines.[7]

Birds that frequent the vicinity of the stream include rock doves and Western rock nuthatch.[8]


  1. ^ a b Hartmann, Andreas (September 2008). "Process-based modelling of karst springs in Mt. Hermon, Israel" (PDF) (in English and German). University of Freiburg. p. 11. Retrieved 5 August 2011. Banias Spring is the spring contributing most of the discharge to the Hermon stream.
  2. ^ "וואלה!מפות" [Walla! Maps]. Walla! (in Hebrew). Retrieved 5 August 2011.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Golan Heights and vicinity : October 1994". Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Rimmer, Alon; Salingar, Yigal (2006). Krzysztofowicz, R. (ed.). "Modelling precipitation-streamflow processes in karst basin: The case of the Jordan River sources, Israel" (PDF). Journal of Hydrology. Elsevier (331): 527–528. Retrieved 20 July 2011. Rainfall and snowmelt of Mt. Hermon recharge the main tributaries of the UCJR: (1) Dan (252 x 106 m3 annually); (2) Snir also known as Hatzbani (118 x 106 m3); and (3) Hermon also known as Banias (106 x 106 m3) (Table 2 and Fig. 2).[dead link]
  5. ^ "Hermon Stream (Banias) Nature Reserve". Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. Nine kilometers from its source, the Hermon Stream meets the Dan, and together they form the Jordan River.
  6. ^ Mark Zeitoun, Karim Eid-Sabbagh, Muna Dajani, Michael Talhami (2012). "Hydro-political Baseline of the Upper Jordan River". Beirut: Association of the Friends of Ibrahim Abd el Al (AFIAL) with the UEA Water Security Research Centre. Retrieved 18 April 2020.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Hareuveni, Imanuel (1985). "עמק החולה". In Ehud Avishai (ed.). Nature Reserves in Israel (in Hebrew) (2nd ed.). Israel: Ministry of Defense (Israel). pp. 64–66. ISBN 965-05-0193-2. במי הנחל רבים הדגים, ביניהם: בינית-ארֻכת-רֹאש, בינית גדולת-הקשקשים, חפף, בינון, לבנונית ואמנוּן.
  8. ^ Baraq, Pinhas. "The Nahal Hermon Reserve (Banias)". Jewish Agency for Israel. Retrieved 7 August 2011. Sometimes, rock hyrax can be found, lying on the piled-up rocks, and flocks of rock doves nest in depths of caves. You can occasionally spot Neumayer's Rock Nuthatch, which flies from Mount Hermon, and black sweet-water snails (melanopsis praemorsa) lie on the floor of pools.