Ashdod

Ashdod

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Ashdod is the sixth-largest city in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, located in the Southern District
South District (Israel)
The Southern District is one of Israel's six administrative districts, and is the largest in terms of land area as well as the most sparsely populated. It covers most of the Negev desert, as well as the Arabah valley. The population of the Southern District is 1,002,400. It is 86% Jewish and 14%...

 of the country, on the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 coast
Israeli Coastal Plain
The Israeli coastal plain is the narrow coastal plain along Israel's Mediterranean Sea coast which houses 70% of the country's population. The plain extends north to south and is divided into a number of areas; the Plain of Zebulun , Hof HaCarmel , the Sharon plain , and the Plain of Judea The...

, located 32 kilometres (19.9 mi) south of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 and 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) north of Ashkelon
Ashkelon
Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv, and north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age...

 and 53 kilometres (32.9 mi) west of Jerusalem. Ashdod is an important regional industrial center. The Port of Ashdod
Port of Ashdod
The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of...

 is Israel's largest port accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods.

The first documented settlement in Ashdod dates to the Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite culture of 17th century BCE, making the city one of the oldest in the world. Ashdod is mentioned 13 times in the Bible. During its history the city was settled by Philistines
Philistines
Philistines , Pleshet or Peleset, were a people who occupied the southern coast of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age . According to the Bible, they ruled the five city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath, from the Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north, but with...

, Israelites, Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, Crusaders
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 and Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s.

Modern Ashdod was established in 1956 on the sand hills near the site of the ancient town, and incorporated as a city in 1968, with a land-area of approximately 60 square kilometres (23.2 sq mi). Being a planned city
Planned community
A planned community, or planned city, is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are less frequent in planned communities since...

, expansion followed a main development plan
Development Plan
A development plan is an aspect of town and country planning in the United Kingdom comprising a set of documents that set out the local authority's policies and proposals for the development and use of land in their area...

, which facilitated traffic and prevented air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 in the residential areas, despite population growth. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , abbreviated CBS, is an Israeli government office established in 1949 to carry out research and publish statistical data on all aspects of Israeli life, including population, society, economy, industry, education and physical infrastructure.It is headed by a...

, Ashdod had a population of 206,400 at the end of 2009, the sixth largest city in Israel, and had an area of 47242 metric dunam (47.2 km²; 18.2 sq mi).

Antiquity


The site of Ashdod in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages was at a tell
just south of the modern city. It was excavated by archaeologists
in 9 seasons between 1962 and 1972. The effort the first few years
was led by David Noel Freedman
David Noel Freedman
David Noel Freedman , son of the writer David Freedman, was a biblical scholar, author, editor, archaeologist, and ordained Presbyterian minister ....

 of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, founded in 1794, is a graduate theological institution associated with the Presbyterian Church USA. It is located in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and houses one of the largest theological libraries in the nation...


and Moshe Dothan.
The remaining seasons were under Dothan and the Israel Antiquities Authority
Israel Antiquities Authority
The Israel Antiquities Authority is an independent Israeli governmental authority responsible for enforcing the 1978 Law of Antiquities. The IAA regulates excavation and conservation, and promotes research...

.
Human settlement
Colonisation
Colonization occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, "to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect", originally related to humans. However, 19th century biogeographers dominated the term to describe the...

 in Ashdod dates from the Paleolithic Age
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

. Ashdod is mentioned in Ugaritic
Ugaritic language
The following table shows Proto-Semitic phonemes and their correspondences among Ugaritic, Arabic and Tiberian Hebrew:-Grammar:Ugaritic is an inflected language, and as a Semitic language its grammatical features are highly similar to those found in Classical Arabic and Akkadian...

 documents, the language of the ancient Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ites. At the end of the 13th century BCE the Sea Peoples
Sea Peoples
The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium BC who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty and especially during year 8 of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty...

 conquered and destroyed the city. By the beginning of the 12th century BCE, the Philistines
Philistines
Philistines , Pleshet or Peleset, were a people who occupied the southern coast of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age . According to the Bible, they ruled the five city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath, from the Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north, but with...

, generally thought to have been one of the Sea Peoples, ruled the city. During their reign, the city prospered and was a member of the Philistine pentapolis
Pentapolis
A pentapolis, from the Greek words , "five" and , "city" is a geographic and/or institutional grouping of five cities...

, which included Ashkelon
Ashkelon
Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv, and north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age...

, Ekron
Ekron
The city of Ekron , was one of the five cities of the famed Philistine pentapolis, located in southwestern Canaan. Ekron lies 35 kilometers west of Jerusalem, and 18 kilometers north of ancient Gath, on the eastern edge of Israel's coastal plain.-History:...

, Gath, and Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 in addition to Ashdod.

In 950 BCE Ashdod was destroyed during Pharaoh Siamun
Siamun
Neterkheperre or Netjerkheperre-setepenamun Siamun was the sixth pharaoh of Egypt during the Twenty-first dynasty. He built extensively in Lower Egypt for a king of the Third Intermediate Period and is regarded as one of the most powerful rulers of this Dynasty after Psusennes I...

's conquest of the region. The city was not rebuilt until at least 815 BCE. Around 715 BCE, it was conquered by Sargon II
Sargon II
Sargon II was an Assyrian king. Sargon II became co-regent with Shalmaneser V in 722 BC, and became the sole ruler of the kingdom of Assyria in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V. It is not clear whether he was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III or a usurper unrelated to the royal family...

, who destroyed the city and exiled its residents. Jewish inhabitants of Ashdod were resettled in Media
Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

 after their failed uprising attempt against Assyrian dominance. The records indicate that 27,290 Jews were forced to settle in Ecbatana (Hamadan) and Susa
Susa
Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers....

 in South West Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. Asdûdu led the revolt of Philistines, Judeans, Edomites, and Moabites against Assyria after expulsion of king Akhimeti, whom Sargon had installed instead of his brother Azuri. Gath (Gimtu) belonged to the kingdom of Ashdod at that time.

An Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n general Tartan gained control of Ashdod in 711, and forced the "usurper" Yamani to flee. Mitinti was king at the time of Sennacherib
Sennacherib
Sennacherib |Sîn]] has replaced brothers for me"; Aramaic: ) was the son of Sargon II, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria .-Rise to power:...

, and Akhimilki in the reign of Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon , was a king of Assyria who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the Aramean queen Naqi'a , Sennacherib's second wife....

. Psamtik I of Egypt is reported to have besieged the great city Azotus for twenty-nine years (Herodotus, ii. 157); the biblical references to the remnant of Ashdod (Jeremiah 25:20; cf Zephaniah 2:4) are interpreted as an allusion to this event.

The city absorbed another blow in 605 BCE, when Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was the name of several kings of Babylonia.* Nebuchadnezzar I, who ruled the Babylonian Empire in the 12th century BC* Nebuchadnezzar II , the Babylonian ruler mentioned in the biblical Book of Daniel...

 conquered it. In 539 BCE the city was rebuilt by the Persians, but was conquered in the wars of Alexander of Macedon.(Nehemiah 13:23)

According to the Book of Nehemiah
Book of Nehemiah
The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible. Told largely in the form of a first-person memoir, it concerns the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, a Jew who is a high official at the Persian court, and the dedication of the city and its people to God's laws...

, the Ashdodites seem to represent the whole nation of the Philistines in the sixth century BCE, the speech of Ashdod (which the younger generation of the Jews are described as adopting) would simply be the general Philistine dialect. Hugo Winckler
Hugo Winckler
Hugo Winckler was a German archaeologist and historian who uncovered the capital of the Hittite Empire at Boğazkale, Turkey....

 explains the use of that name by the fact that Ashdod was the nearest of the Philistine cities to Jerusalem.

Biblical references


According to the Bible, during the 10th century BCE Ashdod became, along with all the kingdom of Philistia
Philistines
Philistines , Pleshet or Peleset, were a people who occupied the southern coast of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age . According to the Bible, they ruled the five city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath, from the Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north, but with...

 a patronage area of the Kingdom of Israel under the control of King David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

. Judah's claim upon Ashdod is mentioned in the Book of Joshua
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. Its 24 chapters tell of the entry of the Israelites into Canaan, their conquest and division of the land under the leadership of Joshua, and of serving God in the land....

 (Joshua 15:46).

In the Book of Samuel
Books of Samuel
The Books of Samuel in the Jewish bible are part of the Former Prophets, , a theological history of the Israelites affirming and explaining the Torah under the guidance of the prophets.Samuel begins by telling how the prophet Samuel is chosen by...

 Ashdod is mentioned (I Samuel 6:17) among the principal Philistine cities. After capturing
Philistine captivity of the Ark
The Philistine captivity of the Ark was an episode described in the biblical history of the Israelites, in which the Ark of the covenant was in the possession of the Philistines, who had captured it after defeating the Israelites in a battle at a location between Eben-ezer, where the Israelites...

 the Ark of the covenant
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

 from the Israelites, the Philistines took it to Ashdod, where it was placed in the temple of Dagon
Dagon
Dagon was originally an Assyro-Babylonian fertility god who evolved into a major northwest Semitic god, reportedly of grain and fish and/or fishing...

. The next morning Dagon was found prostrate before it; on being restored to his place, he was on the following morning again found prostrate and broken. The people of Ashdod were smitten with boils; a plague of mice was sent over the land (1 Samuel 6:5).

In the Book of Nehemiah, some residents of Jerusalem are said to have married women from Ashdod, and half of the children of these unions were reportedly unable to understand Hebrew; instead, they spoke "the language of Ashdod." (Nehemiah 13:23–24)

In the Book of Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

, an Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n general named Tartan, sent by Sargon
Sargon II
Sargon II was an Assyrian king. Sargon II became co-regent with Shalmaneser V in 722 BC, and became the sole ruler of the kingdom of Assyria in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V. It is not clear whether he was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III or a usurper unrelated to the royal family...

, gained control of Ashdod in 711. (Isaiah 20:1) The capture of the city by King Uzziah
Uzziah of Judah
Uzziah , also known as Azariah , was the king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, and one of Amaziah's sons, whom the people appointed to replace his father...

 shortly after 815 BCE is mentioned within the text of the Book of Chronicles
Books of Chronicles
The Books of Chronicles are part of the Hebrew Bible. In the Masoretic Text, it appears as the first or last book of the Ketuvim . Chronicles largely parallels the Davidic narratives in the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings...

 (2 Chronicles 26:6) and in the Book of Zechariah
Book of Zechariah
The Book of Zechariah is the penultimate book of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew and Christian Bible, attributed to the prophet Zechariah.-Historical context:...

 (Zechariah 9:6), speaking of the false Jews. The Book of Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 refers to Azotus (the Hellenistic name of Ashdod) as the place to which Philip the evangelist
Philip the Evangelist
Saint Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven Deacons chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem . He preached and performed miracles in Samaria, converted Simon Magus, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, an...

 walked after the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch
Ethiopian eunuch
The Ethiopian eunuch is a figure in the New Testament of the Bible. The story of his conversion to Christianity is recounted in Acts 8.-Biblical narrative:...

 (Acts 8:40).

Hellenistic period




The city prospered as Αzotus (Άζωτος) under the Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 rule, until the Hasmonean Revolt. During the rebellion Judas Maccabeus
Judas Maccabeus
Judah Maccabee was a Kohen and a son of the Jewish priest Mattathias...

 arrived at its gates, but did not conquer it. He left it for his brother Jonathan
Jonathan Maccabaeus
Jonathan Apphus was leader of the Hasmonean Dynasty of Judea from 161 to 143 BCE. The name Apphus could mean = "the dissembler", "the Wary", or "the diplomat", in allusion to a trait prominent in him -Leader of the Jews:...

, who conquered it in 147 BCE and destroyed the Temple
Temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

 of Dagon
Dagon
Dagon was originally an Assyro-Babylonian fertility god who evolved into a major northwest Semitic god, reportedly of grain and fish and/or fishing...

. According to Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 (Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

13:15, volume 4), Alexander Jannæus
Alexander Jannaeus
Alexander Jannaeus was king of Judea from 103 BC to 76 BC. The son of John Hyrcanus, he inherited the throne from his brother Aristobulus I, and appears to have married his brother's widow, Shlomtzion or "Shelomit", also known as Salome Alexandra, according to the Biblical law of Yibbum...

 possessed it. Pompey
Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

 restored its independence by reconstructing its city walls
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

, though it belonged to the dominion of Herod
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

 and Salome
Salome
Salome , the Daughter of Herodias , is known from the New Testament...

 (Antiquities... 17:18, volume 9), and Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 had to later take it by force.

Despite its location four miles (6 km) from the coast, both Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 and Josephus described it as a maritime city. This curious description may refer to Ashdod's control of a separate shore-edge harbor, called Azotus Paraliyus, or Ashdod-Sea (Antiquities... 13:15, volume 4). The city's prominence continued until the 7th century, when a citadel
Kal'at Al Mina
Kal'at Al Mina is Fatimid citadel in Ashdod-Sea site on the southern coast of modern city of Ashdod.It was built during the Ancient Arab Era . The rectangular fortress has four guard towers, one at each corner. The towers were enclosed by a wall six to seven meters high. Two huge gates in the wall...

 was built in Azotus Paraliyus as a stronghold against the Byzantine navy
Byzantine navy
The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a direct continuation from its imperial Roman predecessor, but played a far greater role in the defense and survival of the state then its earlier iterations...

. To the west of the wooded height on which the city stands, traces of the ancient harbor Kal'at Al Mina
Kal'at Al Mina
Kal'at Al Mina is Fatimid citadel in Ashdod-Sea site on the southern coast of modern city of Ashdod.It was built during the Ancient Arab Era . The rectangular fortress has four guard towers, one at each corner. The towers were enclosed by a wall six to seven meters high. Two huge gates in the wall...

 can still be seen.

Arab, Crusader and Mamluk periods


Isdud came under Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 rule in the seventh century. The geographer Ibn Khordadbeh
Ibn Khordadbeh
Abu'l Qasim Ubaid'Allah ibn Khordadbeh , author of the earliest surviving Arabic book of administrative geography, was a Persian geographer and bureaucrat of the 9th century...

 referred to it as "Azdud," and described it as a postal station between al-Ramla and Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

. The Fatimids established a shore fortress and a village on the Tell
Tell
A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

 of Ashdod.

Ottoman rule



The location of the village on Via Maris
Via Maris
Via Maris is the modern name for an ancient trade route, dating from the early Bronze Age, linking Egypt with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia — modern day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria....

 enhanced the city's importance during the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rule. In 1596 CE, administrated by nahiya ("subdistrict") of Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 under the liwa'
Liwa (arabic)
Liwa or Liwa is an Arabic term meaning district, banner, or flag, a type of administrative division. It was interchangeable with the Turkish term "Sanjak" in the time of the Ottoman Empire. After the fall of the empire, the term was used in the Arab countries formerly under Ottoman rule...

("district") of Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, the population of Ashdod numbered about 413. The villagers paid taxes on wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, sesame
Sesame
Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods....

 and fruit crops, as well as goats and beehives.

In the late nineteenth century, Isdud was described as a village spread across the eastern slope of a low hill, covered with gardens. A ruined khan
Caravanserai
A caravanserai, or khan, also known as caravansary, caravansera, or caravansara in English was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey...

 stood southwest of the village. Its houses were one-storey high with walls and enclosures built of adobe
Adobe
Adobe is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material , which the builders shape into bricks using frames and dry in the sun. Adobe buildings are similar to cob and mudbrick buildings. Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for...

 brick. There were two main sources of water: a pond and a masonry well. Both were surrounded by groves of date-palm and fig-trees.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the village was known as Esdūd, with a population of about 5,000, specializing in agriculture and trade.

British Mandate



During the Mandatory period, Isdud had two elementary schools; one for boys which was opened in 1922, and one for girls which started in 1942. By the mid 1940-s the boy-school had 371 students, while the girl-school had 74. Isdud held a Palestinian Arab
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 population of 4,910 in 1945.

Israeli rule



The village of Isdud was occupied by the Egyptian army
Egyptian Army
The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces and holds power in the current Egyptian government. It is estimated to number around 379,000, in addition to 479,000 reservists for a total of 858,000 strong. The modern army was created in the 1820s, and during the...

 on May 29, 1948 and became the Egyptians' northernmost position during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. While the Israelis failed to capture territory, and suffered heavy casualties, Egypt changed its strategy from offensive to defensive, thus halting their advance northwards. Egyptian and Israeli forces clashed in the surrounding area, with the Egyptians being unable to hold the Ad Halom
Ad Halom
Ad Halom is a site at the eastern entrance to the city of Ashdod, Israel.-Battle:Ad Halom refers to the northernmost point reached by the Egyptian army in Operation Pleshet, one of the battles of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War....

 bridge over the Lachish River. Israeli forces surrounded the town during Operation Pleshet
Operation Pleshet
Operation Pleshet , named for the geographical region where it took place, was an Israeli military operation during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. It was carried out from May 29 to June 3, 1948, in the Isdud/Ad Halom area of the southern front, against the Egyptian Army. The aim of the operation was to...

, and shelled and bombed it from the air. Fearing encirclement, Egyptian forces retreated on October 28, 1948 and the majority of the residents fled. Those who remained were driven southwards by the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

. At the end of August, an Israeli military plane crashed and local Arab militias killed eight passengers. Soldiers of the Givati brigade retaliated by shooting at least 10 villagers. According to Khalidi, the site of the Arab village of Isdud is now covered in sand dunes.

In 1950, two moshav
Moshav
Moshav is a type of Israeli town or settlement, in particular a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms pioneered by the Labour Zionists during the second aliyah...

im, Sde Uziyahu
Sde Uziyahu
Sde Uziyahu is a moshav in the South District of Israel, located near the city of Ashdod. It belongs to the Be'er Tuvia Regional Council.Sde Uziyahu was founded in 1950 by Jewish refugees expelled from Libya from Libya...

 and Shtulim
Shtulim
Shtulim is a moshav in south-central Israel. Located near Ashdod, it falls under the jurisdiction of Be'er Tuvia Regional Council. In 2007 it had a population of 1,600....

, were established to the east of Isdud, on village land. Bnei Darom
Bnei Darom
Bnei Darom is a religious moshav shitufi in central Israel. Located near the Mediterranean coast, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hevel Yavne Regional Council...

 (in 1949) and Gan HaDarom
Gan HaDarom
Gan HaDarom is a moshav in southern Israel. Located on the coastal plain near Ashdod, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gederot Regional Council.-History:...

 (in 1953) were established north of Isdud, on village land.

In 1953, surveyors and designers arrived at the desolate dunes near the mouth of Lakhish River to choose a site to build a new power station
Power station
A power station is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy....

 in the south of the country (eventually "Eshkol A
Eshkol Power Station
The Eshkol Power Station is a power station supplying electrical power to the Shephelah region in Israel. It is located in north industrial zone of Ashdod near the mouth of the Lahish River, close to the Port of Ashdod which providing the plant with fuel oil...

"). Its workers lived in the regional settlements Rehovot
Rehovot
Rehovot is a city in the Center District of Israel, about south of Tel Aviv. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 112,700. Rehovot's official website estimates the population at 114,000.Rehovot was built on the site of Doron,...

 and Gedera
Gedera
-External links:** *...

.

The modern city of Ashdod was founded in 1956 4 kilometres (2.5 mi). On May 1, 1956, then finance minister Levi Eshkol
Levi Eshkol
' served as the third Prime Minister of Israel from 1963 until his death from a heart attack in 1969. He was the first Israeli Prime Minister to die in office.-Biography:...

 approved the establishment of the city of Ashdod. "Ashdod Company Ltd.", a daughter company of City-Builders Company Ltd., was created for that purpose by Oved Ben-Ami and Philipp Klutznick.
The first settlers, twenty-two families of immigrants from Morocco
History of the Jews in Morocco
Moroccan Jews constitute an ancient community. Before the founding of Israel in 1948, there were about 250,000 to 350,000 Jews in the country, but fewer than 7,000 or so remain.-Under the Romans:...

 arrived in November 1956, and a group of immigrants from Egypt
History of the Jews in Egypt
Egyptian Jews constitute both one of the oldest and youngest Jewish communities in the world. While no exact census exists, the Jewish population of Egypt was estimated at fewer than a hundred in 2004, down from between 75,000 and 80,000 in 1922. The historic core of the indigenous community...

 joined them. In July 1957, the government granted a 24 square kilometers concession, approximately 32 kilometres (19.9 mi) from Tel Aviv, to the Ashdod Company Ltd., for building the modern city of Ashdod. The building of the Eshkol A
Eshkol Power Station
The Eshkol Power Station is a power station supplying electrical power to the Shephelah region in Israel. It is located in north industrial zone of Ashdod near the mouth of the Lahish River, close to the Port of Ashdod which providing the plant with fuel oil...

 power station in Ashdod was completed in 1958 and included 3 units: 2 units of 50 megawatt, and one unit of 45 megawatt (with sea water
Seawater
Seawater is water from a sea or ocean. On average, seawater in the world's oceans has a salinity of about 3.5% . This means that every kilogram of seawater has approximately of dissolved salts . The average density of seawater at the ocean surface is 1.025 g/ml...

 desalination
Desalination
Desalination, desalinization, or desalinisation refers to any of several processes that remove some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water...

 capabilities).

The first local council
Local council (Israel)
Local councils are one of the three types of local government found in Israel, with the other two being cities and regional councils. As of 2003, there were 144 local councils in Israel, these being settlements which pass a minimum threshold enough to justify their operations as independent...

 was appointed in October 1959. Dov Gur was appointed the first local council head on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of Interior. The Magistrates' Court
Magistrates' Court
A magistrates' court or court of petty sessions, formerly known as a police court, is the lowest level of court in England and Wales and many other common law jurisdictions...

 in the city was inaugurated in 1963. The building of the port of Ashdod
Port of Ashdod
The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of...

 began in April 1961. The port was inaugurated in November 1963, and was first utilized in November 1965, with the coming of the Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 ship "Wiengelgad".

Large-scale growth of the city began in 1991, with the massive arrival of immigrants
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

 from the Soviet Union  and Ethiopia and infrastructure development. From 1990 to 2001 the city accepted more than 100,000 new inhabitants, a 150% growth.

Urban planning



The modern city of Ashdod city was built outside the historic settlement site, on virgin sands. The development followed a main development plan
Development Plan
A development plan is an aspect of town and country planning in the United Kingdom comprising a set of documents that set out the local authority's policies and proposals for the development and use of land in their area...

. The planners divided the city into seventeen neighborhoods of ten to fifteen thousand people. Wide avenues between the neighborhoods make traffic flow relatively freely inside the city. Each neighborhood has access to its own commercial center, urban park
Urban park
An urban park, is also known as a municipal park or a public park, public open space or municipal gardens , is a park in cities and other incorporated places to offer recreation and green space to residents of, and visitors to, the municipality...

, and health and education infrastructure. The original plan also called for a business and administrative center
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

, built in the mid-1990s, when the city population grew rapidly more than doubling in ten years.

Three industrial zone
Industrial district
Industrial district was initially introduced as a term to describe an area where workers of a monolithic heavy industry live within walking-distance of their places of work...

s were placed adjacent to the port in the northern part of the city, taking into account the prevailing southern winds which take air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 away from the city. The plan had its problems, however, including asymmetric growth of upscale and poorer neighborhoods and the long-time lack of a main business and administrative center.

The city was planned for a maximum of 250,000 inhabitants, and an additional area in the south was reserved for further development. The southern border of the city was proclaimed a national nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

, Ashdod Nitzanim Sand Dune Park
Ashdod Sand Dune
Ashdod Nitzanim Sand Dune Park is a psammosere ecosystem located close to the city of Ashdod on the Israeli Coastal Plain near the Mediterranean sea...

.

Climate


Ashdod has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 with hot summers, pleasant spring and fall, and cool, rainy winters. Humidity tends to be high year round, and rain occurs mainly from November to March. In winter, temperatures seldom drop below 5 °C (41 °F) and are more likely to be in the region of 10–15 °C (50–59 F), while in summer the average is 27 °C (81 °F). The average annual rainfall is 510 millimeters.

Industry



Ashdod is one of the most important industrial centers in Israel. All industrial activities in the city are located in northern areas such as the port area, the northern industrial zone, and around the Lachish River. The port of Ashdod
Port of Ashdod
The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of...

 is the largest port in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, handling about sixty percent of Israel's port cargo. It was mainly upgraded in recent years and will be able to provide berths for Panamax
Panamax
Panamax and New Panamax are popular terms for the size limits for ships traveling through the Panama Canal. Formally, the limits and requirements are published by the Panama Canal Authority titled "Vessel Requirements"...

 ships. Various shipping companies offices are also located in the port area which also is home to an Eshkol A
Eshkol Power Station
The Eshkol Power Station is a power station supplying electrical power to the Shephelah region in Israel. It is located in north industrial zone of Ashdod near the mouth of the Lahish River, close to the Port of Ashdod which providing the plant with fuel oil...

 power station and coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 terminal.

The Northern industrial zone is located on Highway 41
Highway 41 (Israel)
Highway 41 is a highway in south-central Israel. It connects Gedera in the east with Ashdod in the west. Highway 41 is a primary transport link to the Port of Ashdod.-Junctions on the route:...

 and includes various industry including an oil refinery
Ashdod Oil Refineries
Ashdod Oil Refinery is second largest Oil Refinery in Israel, after Haifa Oil Refineries Ltd, located in coastal city of Ashdod. It was once part of governmental company Oil Refineries Ltd. After privatization of the company and solution to break the monopoly in Oil Refinery field, Ashdod oil...

, which is one of only two in the country. The heavy industry
Heavy industry
Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It can mean production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used within the name of many Japanese and Korean firms, meaning...

 zone located south of the Lachish River was once the main industrial center in Ashdod. Recently, however, leisure facilities have moved into the area. There is still some industry here, however, such as a Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. , is an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel. It specializes in generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients...

 plant, construction components producer Ashtrom, and Solbar a soybean oil producer. Ashdod is also home to Elta
Elta
ELTA Systems LTD is an Israeli provider of defense products and services specializing in radar, C4ISTAR, RF, SIGINT and EW products.Elta, a group and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, is one of Israel's major defence electronics companies specializing in a variety of fields...

, a part of Israel Aircraft Industries where radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 equipment, electronic warfare
Electronic warfare
Electronic warfare refers to any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults via the spectrum. The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly...

 systems, and ELINT are developed.

Shopping


Historically each neighborhood of Ashdod had its own commercial center. In 1990, however, when the mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

 shopping culture developed in Israel, the main commercial activity in Ashdod moved to malls. The first mall to open in Ashdod was the Forum Center in the industrial zone. Restaurants, bars and night clubs
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

 were opened in the area. Today, the Forum center is mainly used for offices. Lev Ashdod Mall, which opened in 1993, has been enlarged and upgraded since then. Ashdod Mall, billed at the time as the city's largest shopping mall, has also been redesigned since its opening in 1995. City Mall, Ashdod was opened in a combined building with the central bus station in 1996, following the examples of the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station
Tel Aviv Central Bus Station
Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, known as the New Central Bus Station , is the main bus station of Tel Aviv, Israel...

 and the Jerusalem Central Bus Station
Jerusalem Central Bus Station
The Jerusalem Central Bus Station is the main bus depot in Jerusalem, Israel and one of the busiest bus stations in the country. Located on Jaffa Road near the entrance to the city, it serves Egged, Superbus and Dan intercity bus routes...

. The Sea Mall, a three-story mall near the government offices, has a climbing wall and movie theater
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

. Star Center doubled in size in 2007.

Transportation





Car


Ashdod is located on the historic Via Maris
Via Maris
Via Maris is the modern name for an ancient trade route, dating from the early Bronze Age, linking Egypt with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia — modern day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria....

. Highway 4
Highway 4 (Israel)
Highway 4 is an Israeli highway that runs along Israel's entire coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea, its route in the north runs from the Rosh HaNikra border crossing with Lebanon until the Erez Border Crossing with the Gaza Strip...

 was developed following this route along the southern sea shore of Israel; it serves as the main connection to the north, towards the Tel Aviv metropolitan area
Gush Dan
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area , or Gush Dan , is a metropolitan area including areas from both the Tel Aviv and the Central Districts of Israel. The area is closely linked to the city of Tel Aviv through social, economic, and cultural ties. It is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coastline...

, and to the south, towards Ashkelon
Ashkelon
Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv, and north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age...

.Ad Halom
Ad Halom
Ad Halom is a site at the eastern entrance to the city of Ashdod, Israel.-Battle:Ad Halom refers to the northernmost point reached by the Egyptian army in Operation Pleshet, one of the battles of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War....

 junction was planned as the main entrance to the city from the east. The junction was poorly planned and built, including a grade-level railway crossing less than 100 meters from the intersection with Highway 4 and a dangerous intersection with the nearby railway station's access road, and it suffered from heavy congestion
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

.

An interchange
Interchange (road)
In the field of road transport, an interchange is a road junction that typically uses grade separation, and one or more ramps, to permit traffic on at least one highway to pass through the junction without directly crossing any other traffic stream. It differs from a standard intersection, at which...

 was opened in 2009.
The interchange is intended to continue the freeway section of Highway 4 further south by removing the traffic light at this junction, and it also utilized grade separation
Grade separation
Grade separation is the method of aligning a junction of two or more transport axes at different heights so that they will not disrupt the traffic flow on other transit routes when they cross each other. The composition of such transport axes does not have to be uniform; it can consist of a...

 with the railway.

The other main road in the area is Highway 41 which served the city from the start of its modern history. This road runs from west to east towards Gedera
Gedera
-External links:** *...

 and it is the main transport link to the port of Ashdod
Port of Ashdod
The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of...

 and the industrial zones, and connects to Highway 4 with an interchange.

Train



The passenger railway connection to Ashdod opened in 1992 after the renovation of the historical railway to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Ashdod railway station is on Israel Railways
Israel Railways
Israel Railways is the principal passenger railway operating company in Israel, and is responsible for all inter-city and suburban rail way passenger and freight traffic in the country. All its lines are standard gauge. The network is centered in Israel's densely populated coastal plain, from...

' Binyamina/Netanya
Netanya
Netanya is a city in the Northern Centre District of Israel, and is the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain. It is located north of Tel Aviv, and south of Haifa between the 'Poleg' stream and Wingate Institute in the south and the 'Avichail' stream in the north.Its of beaches have made the...

 – Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 – Ashkelon
Ashkelon
Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv, and north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age...

 line and it is located near Ad Halom
Ad Halom
Ad Halom is a site at the eastern entrance to the city of Ashdod, Israel.-Battle:Ad Halom refers to the northernmost point reached by the Egyptian army in Operation Pleshet, one of the battles of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War....

 Junction. The station was upgraded in 2003 when a new terminal building was built. The station building is modern, but proper road access to it is was only organized on September 23, 2008, when a new road to the station was opened.

There is also heavy freight traffic in the area. Port of Ashdod
Port of Ashdod
The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of...

 has its own railway spur line
Branch line
A branch line is a secondary railway line which branches off a more important through route, usually a main line. A very short branch line may be called a spur line...

 as well as a special terminal for potash
Potash
Potash is the common name for various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form. In some rare cases, potash can be formed with traces of organic materials such as plant remains, and this was the major historical source for it before the industrial era...

 brought from the Sodom
Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and later expounded upon throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and Deuterocanonical sources....

 area and exported abroad.

Buses


A new central bus station
Bus station
A bus station is a structure where city or intercity buses stop to pick up and drop off passengers. It is larger than a bus stop, which is usually simply a place on the roadside, where buses can stop...

 opened in 1996. It serves as the terminus
Bus terminus
A bus terminus is a designated place where a bus or coach starts or ends its scheduled route. The terminus is the designated place that a timetable is timed from. Termini can be located at bus stations, interchanges, bus garages or simple bus stops. Termini can both start and stop at the same...

 both for inter- and intracity lines. The central bus station is attached to the City Mall. Intercity bus lines connect the city with most population centers in central and southern Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Following is the list of bus companies serving routes at the central bus station:
Company nameMajor destinations
Egged
Egged Bus Cooperative
Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd , a cooperative owned by its members is the largest transit bus company in Israel. It provides about 55 % of public transport services throughout the country, employs 6,227 workers and has 2,861 buses for more than 928 service routes and 3,103...

Jerusalem, a seasonal line to Eilat
Metropoline
Metropoline
Metropoline is an Israeli bus company, which provides bus routes from Beersheba to Tel Aviv and other destinations, mainly in the Southern District...

 
Be'er Sheva
Beersheba
Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of 194,300....

, Kiryat Gat, Sderot
Sderot
Sderot is a western Negev city in the Southern District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 20,700. The city has been an ongoing target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip...

, Netivot
Netivot
Netivot is a city in the Southern District of Israel in Israel. At the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 26,700. It was founded in 1956 as a development town along with Sderot to the north, and Ofakim to the south...

Connex Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 (CBS
Tel Aviv Central Bus Station
Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, known as the New Central Bus Station , is the main bus station of Tel Aviv, Israel...

 and Arlozorov Terminal
Tel Aviv 2000 Terminal
2000 Terminal, more commonly known as Arlozorov Terminal, is a bus terminal in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is located near the border of Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, next to Ayalon Highway and the junction of several traffic arteries - Jabotinsky Road that leads to Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Petah Tikva, Begin...

), Bar Ilan University
Bar-Ilan University
Bar-Ilan University is a university in Ramat Gan of the Tel Aviv District, Israel.Established in 1955, Bar Ilan is now Israel's second-largest academic institution. It has nearly 26,800 students and 1,350 faculty members...

, Tel HaShomer
Tel HaShomer
Tel HaShomer is a district in Gush Dan in central Israel. It is located east of Ramat Gan, and is bordered to the north by Kiryat Ono, to the east by Yehud, and to the south by Or Yehuda...

, Rishon LeTziyon, Rehovot
Rehovot
Rehovot is a city in the Center District of Israel, about south of Tel Aviv. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 112,700. Rehovot's official website estimates the population at 114,000.Rehovot was built on the site of Doron,...

, Yavne
Yavne
Yavne is a city in the Central District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a population of 33,000.-History:...

, Ashkelon
Ashkelon
Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv, and north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age...

, Kiryat Mal'akhi, Gedera
Gedera
-External links:** *...

, Gan Yavne
Gan Yavne
Gan Yavne is a in the Center District of Israel, located adjacent to the city of Ashdod. It was founded in 1931 and declared a local council in 1950.Gan Yavne lies east of the Tel-Aviv–Ashkelon highway...

Egged Ta'avura
Egged Ta'avura
Egged Ta'avura is an Israeli bus company. It is a subsidiary of the Egged Bus Cooperative and the Ta'avura Group, and was founded by the two in 2006 from 2 other subsidiaries of Egged, following the public transportation reform and privatization in Israel in the 2000s...

Intracity service


Due to the large Haredi
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

 population in Ashdod, many mehadrin lines connect the Haredi neighborhoods of Ashdod with other Haredi population centers, such as Bnei Brak, Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh, Modi'in Illit
Modi'in Illit
Modi'in Illit is a Haredi Israeli settlement and a city in the West Bank, situated midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Modi'in Illit was granted city status by the Israeli government in 2008. It is located six kilometres northeast of Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut and is often referred to as Kiryat...

, Kiryat Gat, El'ad
El'ad
El'ad, also spelled Elad , is a city in the Center District of Israel. Located about east of Tel Aviv on Route 444 between Rosh HaAyin and Shoham.In 2007 the town had a total population of 31,300. Its current population is estimated at over 32,000...

, Tzfat
Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

 and other towns. The mehadrin lines are operated by Egged
Egged Bus Cooperative
Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd , a cooperative owned by its members is the largest transit bus company in Israel. It provides about 55 % of public transport services throughout the country, employs 6,227 workers and has 2,861 buses for more than 928 service routes and 3,103...

, Connex, Egged Ta'avura
Egged Ta'avura
Egged Ta'avura is an Israeli bus company. It is a subsidiary of the Egged Bus Cooperative and the Ta'avura Group, and was founded by the two in 2006 from 2 other subsidiaries of Egged, following the public transportation reform and privatization in Israel in the 2000s...

 and Superbus, and do not use the central bus station.

The Egged Ta'avura
Egged Ta'avura
Egged Ta'avura is an Israeli bus company. It is a subsidiary of the Egged Bus Cooperative and the Ta'avura Group, and was founded by the two in 2006 from 2 other subsidiaries of Egged, following the public transportation reform and privatization in Israel in the 2000s...

 company has been operating urban buses in Ashdod since 2007. In addition, a share taxi
Share taxi
A share taxi is a mode of transport that falls between taxis and conventional buses. These informal vehicles for hire are found throughout the world. They are smaller than buses, and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, usually leaving when all seats are filled...

 service exists in Ashdod, operated by Moniyot HaIr. Most share taxi lines coincide with intracity bus lines.

Boat


There is a passenger pier in the Port of Ashdod
Port of Ashdod
The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of...

. The traffic at this gateway is constantly growing, especially due to cruise ship
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

 activities. The other sea gateway is the newly opened Blue Marina
Ashdod Marina
Blue Marina in Ashdod is one of the newest marinas in Israel. It is located close to the city center in the middle of beach zone. The marina has berths for nearly 550 crafts. The surrounding area is being developed and will have hotels, restaurants, artificial lakes, and promenades.The Blue Marina...

.

Demographics


Year Population
1961 4,600
1972 40,300
1983 65,700
1990 83,900
1995 125,820
1996 137,100
2000 174,224
2001 187,000
2003 192,200
2006 204,400
2008 209,200


According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , abbreviated CBS, is an Israeli government office established in 1949 to carry out research and publish statistical data on all aspects of Israeli life, including population, society, economy, industry, education and physical infrastructure.It is headed by a...

, Ashdod had a population of about 204,400 at the end of 2006, making it the fifth largest city in Israel. The annual population growth rate is 2.6% and the ratio of women to men is 1,046 to 1,000. The population age distribution was recorded as 19.7% under the age of 10, 15.7% from age 10 to 19, 14.9% from 20 to 29, 19.1% from 30 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% were 65 or older. The population of Ashdod is significantly younger than the Israeli average because of the large number of young couples living in the city. The city is ranked medium-low in socio-economic grading, with a rating of 4 out of 10. 56.1% of 12th grade
Twelfth grade
Twelfth grade or Senior year, or Grade Twelve, are the North American names for the final year of secondary school. In most countries students then graduate at age 17 or 18. In some countries, there is a thirteenth grade, while other countries do not have a 12th grade/year at all...

 students in Ashdod were eligible for matriculation certificates in 2000. The average salary in 2000 was NIS
Israeli new sheqel
The Israeli New Shekel is the currency of the State of Israel. The shekel is divided into 100 agorot...

 4,821 compared to the national average of NIS
Israeli new sheqel
The Israeli New Shekel is the currency of the State of Israel. The shekel is divided into 100 agorot...

 6,835.

Ashdod, like many Israeli cities, has seen much of its growth as the result of absorption of immigrants
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

. The first major group to move to the city were Jews of Moroccan
History of the Jews in Morocco
Moroccan Jews constitute an ancient community. Before the founding of Israel in 1948, there were about 250,000 to 350,000 Jews in the country, but fewer than 7,000 or so remain.-Under the Romans:...

 and Egyptian
History of the Jews in Egypt
Egyptian Jews constitute both one of the oldest and youngest Jewish communities in the world. While no exact census exists, the Jewish population of Egypt was estimated at fewer than a hundred in 2004, down from between 75,000 and 80,000 in 1922. The historic core of the indigenous community...

 descent. In the 1960s Ashdod accepted a large number of immigrants from Romania
History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is nowadays Romanian territory....

, followed by a large number from Georgia
Georgian Jews
The Georgian Jews are from the nation of Georgia, in the Caucasus...

 in the 1970s. More than 60,000 Jews immigrated to Ashdod from the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in the early 1990s. Recent demographic figures suggest that about 32% of the city's population are new immigrants, 85% of whom are originally from the former Soviet Union. During the 1990s the city absorbed a large number of Jews of Ethiopian
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

 descent, and in more recent years Ashdod has absorbed a large number of immigrants from France
History of the Jews in France
The history of the Jews of France dates back over 2,000 years. In the early Middle Ages, France was a center of Jewish learning, but persecution increased as the Middle Ages wore on...

 and from Argentina. Many of the 60,000 Marathi speaking
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

 Bene Israel
Bene Israel
The Bene Israel are a group of Jews who migrated in the 19th century from villages in the Konkan area to the nearby Indian cities, primarily Mumbai, but also to Pune, and Ahmedabad. Prior to these waves of emigrations and to this day, the Bene Israel formed the largest sector of the subcontinent's...

i, from Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 have also settled here. Approximately 100 American, British, and South African expatriates also live here. Ashdod also receives a significant amount of internal migration, especially from the Gush Dan
Gush Dan
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area , or Gush Dan , is a metropolitan area including areas from both the Tel Aviv and the Central Districts of Israel. The area is closely linked to the city of Tel Aviv through social, economic, and cultural ties. It is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coastline...

 region.

Religion



Over 95% of Ashdod's population is Jewish, over 30% of whom are religiously observant. Despite this, the city is generally secular, although most of the non-Jewish
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

 population is a result of mixed marriages. The large Haredi
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

 community of the city live mainly in Neighborhood 7 (Rova Zayin) which is specially dedicated for their needs with Talmud Torah
Talmud Torah
Talmud Torah schools were created in the Jewish world, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, as a form of public primary school for boys of modest backgrounds, where they were given an elementary education in Hebrew, the Scriptures , and the Talmud...

, cheder
Cheder
A Cheder is a traditional elementary school teaching the basics of Judaism and the Hebrew language.-History:...

, mikva
Mikvah
Mikveh is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism...

 and other religious institutions. About 100 families are affiliated with the Pittsburg
Pittsburg (Hasidic dynasty)
Pittsburg is a Hasidic dynasty founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1924 by Rabbi Yosef Leifer, a Hungarian rabbi and descendant of Rabbi Mordechai of Nadvorna...

 Hasidic
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 group, established here in 1969 by Grand Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer
Avraham Abba Leifer
Avraham Abba Leifer was the second Rebbe of the Pittsburg Hasidic dynasty and the instigator for the relocation of the Hasidut from its original location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod...

 and continued today by his son, Grand Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer
Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer
Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer is the third and current Rebbe of the Pittsburg Hasidic dynasty. Since succeeding his father, Grand Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer, as Rebbe in 1990, he has expanded the Hasidic presence in Ashdod, Israel with new schools and institutions, and increased the number of...

.

Ashdod has many synagogues serving different streams of Judaism. The city is also home to the world's largest Karaite
Karaite Judaism
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology...

 community, about five thousand strong. There is also a Scandinavian Seamen Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 church, established by Norwegian Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous among the Nations of the world's nations"), also translated as Righteous Gentiles is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis....

 pastor Per Faye-Hansen
Per Faye-Hansen
Per Faye-Hansen was a Norwegian pastor who saved Jews, risking his life, during World War II.- World War II :In October 1942, Faye-Hansen organized a temporary hiding place in a flower shop in Majorstuen for Jewish refugees. He meticulously arranged the escape of this group of Jews to Sweden with...

.

Government




Ashdod was declared a city in 1968. The Ashdod City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 has twenty-five elected members, one of whom is the mayor. The mayor serves a five-year term and appoints six deputies. The current mayor of Ashdod, Yehiel Lasri
Yehiel Lasri
Dr Yehiel Lasri is an Israeli physician and politician who currently serves as mayor of Ashdod. He previously served as a member of the Knesset for the Centre Party, Lev and Likud.-Biography:...

, was last elected in 2008 after Zvi Zilker
Zvi Zilker
Zvi Zilker the second mayor of the city of Ashdod in Israel.Zilker was born in Berlin and immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1935 with his parents. Between 1963 and 1969 he was a member of the regional council and then city engineer of Ashdod. In 1969 he was elected for the first...

 has been in office continuously since 1989. Within the city council there are various factions representing different population groups. The headquarters of the Ashdod Municipality and the mayor's office are at city hall. This new municipal building is located in the main culture and business area.

Mayors and heads of council


  • Dov Gur (1959–61)
  • Robert Hayim (1961–63)
  • Avner Garin (1963–69)
  • Zvi Zilker
    Zvi Zilker
    Zvi Zilker the second mayor of the city of Ashdod in Israel.Zilker was born in Berlin and immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1935 with his parents. Between 1963 and 1969 he was a member of the regional council and then city engineer of Ashdod. In 1969 he was elected for the first...

     (1969–83)
  • Aryeh Azulay (1983–89)
  • Zvi Zilker
    Zvi Zilker
    Zvi Zilker the second mayor of the city of Ashdod in Israel.Zilker was born in Berlin and immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1935 with his parents. Between 1963 and 1969 he was a member of the regional council and then city engineer of Ashdod. In 1969 he was elected for the first...

     (1989–2008)
  • Yehiel Lasri
    Yehiel Lasri
    Dr Yehiel Lasri is an Israeli physician and politician who currently serves as mayor of Ashdod. He previously served as a member of the Knesset for the Centre Party, Lev and Likud.-Biography:...

     (2008–)


Culture and art



Ashdod is home to the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra
Andalusian classical music
Andalusian classical music is a style of Moorish music found across North Africa in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It originates out of the music of Al-Andalus between the 9th and 15th centuries....

 which performs music originating in Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, a blend of Western and Arabic music
Arab music
Arabic music or Arab music is the music of the Arab World, including several genres and styles of music ranging from Arabic classical to Arabic pop music and from secular to sacred music....

. The orchestra was awarded the Israel Prize
Israel Prize
The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...

 in 2006. The ACADMA conservatory, a professional educational institute for music and performance studies is based in Ashdod. Operated under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, the institute was established in 1966, and serves as a home for 600 young musicians in different fields. The MonArt center is a performing arts center
Performing arts center
Performing arts center, often abbreviated PAC, is used to refer to* A multi-use performance space that is intended for use by various types of the performing arts, including dance, music and theatre....

 which has different art schools, studios and events. Theater and concerts are hosted in several cultural venues; the most important are performed at Yad LaBanim concert hall. A new 2,000-seat concert hall in the cultural center is in its final building stages. The Korin Maman Museum has a permanent archeology exhibition called "Philistian World" as well as various changing art exhibitions. Ashdod Museum of Art located in the MonArt center, has 13 exhibition halls. In an architectural echo of the Louvre, the entrance to the museum is through a glass pyramid.

Sports



Ashdod's football team, F.C. Ashdod
F.C. Ashdod
F.C. Ashdod is an Israeli football club, playing in the port city of Ashdod. The unorthodox name of the team is the result of the union of two city rivals, Hapoel Ashdod and Maccabi Ironi Ashdod...

 represents the city in Ligat ha'Al, Israel's Premier League. The club is known for its successful soccer school. The city's top basketball team is Maccabi Ashdod
Maccabi Ashdod B.C.
Maccabi Ashdod is a professional basketball team based in the port city of Ashdod. It is the basketball division of the Maccabi Ashdod sports club.The team played in the Second league since 1999.and in the Ligat Ha'al in Israel since 2010....

. The men squad plays in First League, Israel's First tier league, and the women squad Maccabi Bnot Ashdod
Maccabi Bnot Ashdod
Maccabi Bnot Ashdod is a professional Women's basketball team based in Ashdod, playing in the Ligat Ha'al in Israel since 2003. It is the Women's basketball division of the Maccabi Ashdod sports club....

  plays in top division.

Ashdod plays host to many national and international sporting tournaments, including the annual Ashdod International Chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

 Festival. The city has a cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 team, a rarity in Israel. It is run and organized by citizens of Indian descent. Ashdod's beaches are a venue for water sports, like as windsurfing
Windsurfing
Windsurfing or sailboarding is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board usually two to four metres long, powered by the orthogonal effect of the wind on a sail. The rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating universal joint and comprises a...

 and Scuba diving
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

. The Ashdod Marina
Ashdod Marina
Blue Marina in Ashdod is one of the newest marinas in Israel. It is located close to the city center in the middle of beach zone. The marina has berths for nearly 550 crafts. The surrounding area is being developed and will have hotels, restaurants, artificial lakes, and promenades.The Blue Marina...

 offers yachting services.

Ashdod has produced a number of famous athletes:
  • Vered Borochovsky – 2000 Sydney Olympics
    2000 Summer Olympics
    The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

     and 2004 Summer Olympics
    2004 Summer Olympics
    The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

     swimmer.
  • Alon Hazan
    Alon Hazan
    Alon Hazan is a former Israeli footballer. Outside of football he is presently taking a degree in politics.Hazan spent most of his playing career in Israel, but did spend 18 months with English side Watford, with whom he achieved two promotions - from Division Two to the Premier League...

     – international soccer player
  • Haim Revivo
    Haim Revivo
    Haim Michael Revivo is a retired Israeli football player, and a businessman. He was especially famous for his free-kick goals and his entertaining celebrations after these goals.- From Ashdod to Tel Aviv :...

     – international soccer
    International Soccer
    -Overview:International Soccer is a soccer videogame for Commodore 64. It can be played by two players or one player against an AI opponent. Each team can select one of a number of colored shirts, and the AI opponent is graded into 9 different difficulty levels...

     player
  • Gocha Tzitziashvili – 2003 Greco-Roman Wrestling
    Greco-Roman wrestling
    Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

     World champion & 2004 Summer Olympics wrestler


Twin towns – Sister cities



Ashdod is twinned with
Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Bahía Blanca
Bahía Blanca
Bahía Blanca is a city located in the south-west of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the Atlantic Ocean, and seat of government of Bahía Blanca Partido. It has a population of 274,509 inhabitants according to the...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 Spandau
Spandau
Spandau is the fifth of the twelve boroughs of Berlin. It is the fourth largest and westernmost borough, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel, but the least populated.-Overview:...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Tampa
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


See also

  • Cities of the ancient Near East
    Cities of the ancient Near East
    The largest cities in the Bronze Age ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age with some 30,000 inhabitants was the largest city of the time by far...

  • Short chronology timeline
    Short chronology timeline
    The short chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 1728 BC – 1686 BC and the sack of Babylon to 1531 BC....

  • List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War

External links



  • Tour and signposting in Isdud, by Eitan Bronstein, 15.8.03, Zochrot
    Zochrot
    Zochrot is an Israeli-Jewish non-profit organization founded in 2002. Based in Tel Aviv, its aim is to promote awareness of the Palestinian Nakba , the 1948 Palestinian exodus. The group's director is Eitan Bronstein...

  • Untold stories: Ahmad Joudah IMEU, Apr 24, 2008