Hula, Lake, or Lake Huleh (both: hōˈlā) [key], Arabic Bahr al Hulah, near sea-level lake formed by a natural dam of basalt, NE Israel; the Jordan River exits from its southern end. In ancient times the lake was called the Waters of Merom. Between 1950 and 1958, c.12,350 acres (5,000 hectares) of the lake's swampy shore were drained. The land has been irrigated by the Jordan and is among the most fertile regions in Israel. Crops include grains, fruit, vegetables, and cotton; the lake is used for fishing. The area is rich in flora and fauna.