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Kiryat Gat

Kiryat Gat
  • קִרְיַת גַּת
  • كريات جات
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259 Qiryat Gat
Flag of Kiryat Gat
Flag
Official logo of Kiryat Gat
Coat of arms
Kiryat Gat is located in Israel
Kiryat Gat
Kiryat Gat
Location of Kiryat Gat in Israel
Coordinates:
District Southern
Founded 1972
Government
 • Type City
 • Mayor Aviram Dahari
Area
 • Total 17,102 dunams (17.102 km2 or 6.603 sq mi)
Population (Dec 2013)[1]
 • Total 49,352
Website www.qiryat-gat.muni.il

Kiryat Gat (Hebrew: קִרְיַת גַּת), is a city in the Southern District of Israel. It lies 56 kilometres (35 mi) south of Tel Aviv, 43 kilometres (27 mi) north of Beersheba, 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Gaza, and 68 kilometres (42 mi) from Jerusalem. At the end of 2012, the city had a total population of 48,275.[1]

Contents

  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Transportation 5
  • Schools and education 6
  • Twin towns — Sister cities 7
  • Notable people 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11

Etymology

Kiryat Gat is named for Gath, one of the five major cities of the Philistines. In Hebrew, "gat" means "winepress". In the 1950s, archaeologists found ruins at a nearby tell which were mistaken for the Philistine city of Gath. The location most favored for Gath now is Tel es-Safi, thirteen kilometers (8.1 miles) to the northeast.[2]

History

Historical setting of Kiryat Gat

Kiryat Gat was established in 1955 as a development town by 18 families from Morocco.[3] It was founded just west of the ruins of the Palestinian village Iraq al-Manshiyya, which was depopulated in 1949 after the 1948 Palestine war.[4][5] The former location of Iraq al-Manshiyya is now within the built-up area of Kiryat Gat.[5][6] By 1992, Kiryat Gat had grown and spread also on to the land formerly belonged to the village of Al-Faluja.[7]

The population rose from 4,400 inhabitants in 1958 to 17,000 in 1969, mostly Jewish immigrants from North Africa. The economy was initially based on processing the agricultural produce of the Lachish region, such as cotton and wool. In December 1972, Kiryat Gat's municipal status was upgraded and it became Israel's 31st city.[8]

During the 1990s, the mass immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel brought many new residents to the town and its population grew to 42,500 by 1995.[9] The development of the Rabin industrial zone on the eastern edge of the city, and the opening of Highway 6 further improved the economy of the city.

Demographics

In 2012, the ethnic makeup of the city was 93.8 percent Jewish.[10] In its early years, Kiryat Gat was populated mainly by Jews of Sephardi/Mizrahi origin. Since the mass immigration of Soviet Jews, approximately one third of the inhabitants hail from the former Soviet Union.[11]

Economy

The Polgat textile factory was the main employer in the town until it closed in the 1990s. In 1999, Intel opened a chip fabrication plant, known as Fab 18, to produce Pentium 4 chips and flash memories. Intel received a grant of $525 million from the Israeli government to build the plant. In February 2006, the cornerstone was laid for Intel's second Kiryat Gat plant, Fab 28. Despite this, Kiryat Gat has one of Israel's highest unemployment rates.[11][12]

Transportation

Kiryat Gat residential towers and park

Kiryat Gat is served by the Kiryat Gat Railway Station on the Tel Aviv - Be'er Sheva inter-city line of Israel Railways. Kiryat Gat is situated between two major highways, Highway 40 to the west of the town and Highway 6.

Schools and education

Kiryat Gat has 25 schools with an enrollment of 10,676. Of these schools, 18 are elementary schools with a student population of 5,498, and 13 are high schools with a student population of 5,178. In 2001, 54.7% of Kiryat Gat's 12th grade students graduated with a matriculation certificate. Kiryat Gat has a Pedagogic Center, science centers, a computerized library and a center devoted to industry, art and technology.[3] In 2012, a high school student from Kiryat Gat won first prize in the First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics competition.[13]

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kiryat Gat is twinned with:

Notable people

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 108
  5. ^ a b Sheet Hebron of 100,000 topological map series, Survey of Israel, 1956.
  6. ^ Google maps.
  7. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 97
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ (Hebrew)
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^
  13. ^ Kiryat Gat teen wins first prize in international physics competition, Haaretz
  14. ^
  15. ^

Bibliography

External links

  • Official website (Hebrew)
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