Israeli Cities
Some are Huge Metropolitan Areas

There are many Israeli cities to talk about. What started as a small country with a few development towns only 64 years ago, is now a well developed country with many cities that are home to millions.

They are located mainly in the central area, but nevertheless there are very important cities and towns all over the country.

We are going to mention and write about most of them.

Haifa Israel is the main city in North of the country

Cities in the North and Galilee

  • Acre

Called Acco or Akko in Hebrew is located on the north side of Haifa Bay. This port city is part of the Western Galilee. It is the ancient capital of the Crusaders. It features the largest prison of the times of the British Mandate.

  • Afula

It is the center of Emek Yizreel or Jezreel Valley. Founded in 1925 it is one of the first urban planned communities in Eretz Israel. As it started to grow with the influx of new immigrants it became the center of a metropolitan area of Kibbutzim and Moshavim. Then a suburb called Afula Ilit or Upper Afula was founded.

  • Beit Shean

Located on the Jordan Valley south of the Sea of Galilee, it has been constantly inhabited since ancient times. A few decades ago, a great archaeological site was discovered showing up a large Roman City, one of the Decapolis of the Empire.

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The ancient city of Tiberias on the shores of the Kineret
One of the oldest Israeli Cities

Israeli Cities in the Galilee

  • Karmiel

It is located on the Western Galilee (Galil Maaravi), half way between Acco and Safed that divides the Galilee into Upper Galilee (Galil Elion) and Lower Galilee (Galil Tachton) It was founded in 1964 as a planned modern city. I features and ORT vocational school and a performing Arts Cultural Center.

  • Nahariya

It is Israel’s northernmost coastal city, very close to the Lebanese border. Nahariya has been very popular among Israelis as a city of recreation. Many spend their vacations in the city. You may see the town center with the never ending cafes, always full and during summer the beaches attract people from all over.

  • Nazareth

In Hebrew it is pronounced Natzeret or Natzrat. It is the largest city in the northern part of the country, mainly inhabited by Israeli Arabs, Christians and Moslems.

For Christians this is where the Archangel Michael advised Mary of the upcoming birth of the Messiah through her and the birthplace of Jesus.

It features the Basilica of the Annunciation, a beautiful church, with arts of work featuring Virgin Mary in many styles according the country that sent the gift. Comes to my mind the Japanese one with a mantle or shroud covered with genuine pearls.

The Holy City of Safed cradle of the Kabbalah in the Galilee

Israeli Cities in the Galilee

  • Safed

This Mystical City is one of four Jewish Holy cities, with Tiberias, Jerusalem and Hebron. In Hebrew it is pronounced Tzfat. It is located on the eastern part of the Galilee at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level. Summers are pleasant and winters may be very cold and some time snowy.

In 1492 when the Jews were expelled from Spain many settled in Tzfat. One known exponent of Mystical studies and Kabbalah, Rabbi Isaac Luria lived and taught here in the 16th Century.

  • Tiberias

This ancient Holy City was founded by Herod Antipas and called it in honor of Emperor Tiberius. Located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee it is 212 meters below sea level.

It has been and it is still a very popular tourist destination. Since the time of the Romans more than 2,000 years ago until today it has been visited by Christian and Jewish Pilgrims.

Nowadays it is also very popular among Israelis for their vacations with kids and whole families.

A few more important Israeli Cities in the north:

• Hadera • Kiryat Shmona • Maalot-Tarshiha • Migdal HaEmek • Nazareth Illit • Sakhnin • Shaghur • Shfaram • Tamra • Yokneam • Baqa-Jatt • Haifa • Kiryat Ata • Kiryat Bialik • Kiryat Motzkin • Kiryat Yam • Nesher • Or Akiva • Tirat Carmel • Umm al Fahm

Herzliya on the Mediterranean coast is one of Israel's greatest cities

Israeli Cities on the Central Region

  • Herzliya

This city is named after the founder of modern Zionism Theodore Herzl that did not live to see the founding of the state. It is located north of Tel Aviv on the Tel Aviv-Haifa Autostrada.

A part of the city is Herzliya Pituach one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Israel. It is home to many ambassadors and foreign diplomats.

  • Kfar Sava

It is located on the Sharon coastal region, even though it is not at the sea, not far from Petach Tikva. It is mentioned in the Bible several times from the times of the Second Temple.

The modern city was founded at the end of the 19th Century when the land where the city is today was purchased by Baron de Rothschild.

It was resold to some farmers of Petach Tikva that wanted to have them for their children, but eventually ended up selling the land to new immigrants.

  • Netanya

This lovely city is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea north of Tel Aviv on the way to Haifa. It is often called the capital of the Sharon. It’s perfect weather has made it a very popular tourist city, especially those that come from Europe for stays of several weeks or more.

The city is many meters above the sea and beach is on a deep cliff down which is a spectacular sight. Now there is a beach elevator to make the trip to the beach much easier. There are many sport activities around and of course many bars and restaurants to cover the need of the visitors.

Ramat Gan next to Tel Aviv is home to the Israel Diamond Exchange

Israeli Cities in Central Israel

  • Petach Tikva

At the end of the 19th Century a group of pioneers from Jerusalem, decided it was time to settle the lands of the Sharon and liberate the lands from the aridity and abandonment.

The society “Work the soil and redeem the land” was formed and they founded what is known as “Em Hamoshavot” or the Mother of all Settlements.

Today it’s a modern and industrial city with beautiful neighborhoods and big industrial and commercial areas like Kiryat Arieh.

  • Raanana

It means Fresh in Hebrew, and this is the feeling you get when visiting Raanana. It is located across from Kfar Saba on the southern part of the Sharon or coastal Mediterranean plain.

It has become a very popular city to live due to its quality of life. The municipality has planned the city with many green areas for the benefit of the residents.

It is also a very popular city for English speaking residents coming from the USA, Cana, South Africa and others.

  • Ramat Gan

It means in Hebrew Garden Hill. You don’t really notice when you leave tel Aviv and enter Ramat Gan. It is today part of a whole metropolitan area of Tel Aviv called Gush Dan. The Diamond Exchange or “Bursa” is located here and also Israel’s tallest building The Aviv Tower.

My Home Town Rehovot is home to the Weizmann Institute of Science

Israeli Cities in Central Israel

  • Rehovot

It is called the City of Science and Culture because it is home to the world renowned Weitzman Institute of Science. Rehovot is located in the center of the country midway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and was founded in 1890 by Polish immigrants.

Later came the immigration from Yemen and together these hardworking people developed a high tech agricultural town. Rehovot also hosts the Department of Agriculture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Rishon LeZion

Today it is considered part of the Gush Dan area of Tel Aviv, located south of the big city. Rishon as it’s called by many is one of the largest cities of Israel.

I saw it grow in fifty years from a small town to a rather big city covering areas all the way to the beaches of the Mediterranean.

The name means in Hebrew, First of Zion because it was founded together with Petach Tikva at the end of the 19th Century.

Some other cities of the Center

• Elad • Givat Shmuel • Hod HaSharon • Kafr Qasimm • Lod • Modi'in • Ness Ziona • Qalansawe • Ramla • Rosh HaAyin • Tayibe • Tira • Yavne • Yehud-Monosson • Bat Yam • Bnei Brak • Givatayim • Holon • Kiryat Ono • Or Yehuda • Ramat HaSharon • Tel Aviv • Jerusalem • Beit Shemesh • Ariel • Beitar Illit • Maale Adumim • Modiin Illit

Bat Yam a Riviera City south of Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Israeli Cities in the South and the Negev

  • Ashdod

Many tourists, if they arrive on a Cruise to the Holy Land, see Ashdod as the first impression.

It is a great impression. The city is clean and very well planned and is a pleasure to the eyes with nice boulevards and parks. It is Israel’s busiest cargo port that time ago surpassed Haifa for that title.

It was founded at the beginning of the sixties. The beaches of the Mediterranean coast are well kept and well administered. Many tourists from Russia and Europe come to Ashdod for their vacations.

  • Ashkelon

It is the southernmost city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast not far from the Gaza Strip.

It has been blessed by beautiful beaches and is a heaven for tourist and locals that fill the beaches during the warm months. By the way in that area the warm months are about nine out of the twelve.

Eilat the southernmost city in Israel our gate to the Orient

Israeli Cities in Southern Israel

  • Beer Sheva

Called the capital of the Negev, it is the largest city of the south in Israel. It is home to the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Soroka Medical Center.

The city received a great influx of immigrants fro the former Soviet Union countries and from Ethiopia. It is among Israel’s ten major cities.

  • Sderot

This is a small development town less than a mile away from the Gaza Strip, that has claimed it place in history and the media for being the main target of the Qassam rockets fired indiscriminately from Gaza. Such rockets have killed many Israelis among them innocent children.

Some more Israeli Cities in the south

• Arad • Dimona • Eilat • Kiryat Gat • Kiryat Malakhi • Netivot • Ofakim • Rahat

As a well developed country, Israel Cities are an important part of daily lives. They are governed by local authorities and some have become what they are today thanks to great administrations that have brought employment and development to the cities.

As we visit our country we will talk about each one the Israeli Cities in particular.

Image Credits:
haifa by michael paul golmer
safed by matik 18
tiberias by bantosh
herzliya n/a
ramat gan n/a
rehovot n/a
bat yam n/a
eilat by sendlebach

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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