Dimona

Dimona

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

i city in the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

 desert, 36 kilometres (22.4 mi) to the south of Beersheba
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....

 and 35 kilometres (21.7 mi) west of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 above the Arava
Arabah
The Arabah , also known as Aravah, is a section of the Great Rift Valley running in a north-south orientation between the southern end of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea and continuing further south where it ends at the Gulf of Aqaba. It includes most of the border between Israel to the...

 valley in the Southern District of Israel. Its population at the end of 2007 was 33,600.

History


Dimona was one of the development town
Development town
Development town is a term used to refer to the new settlements that were built in Israel during the 1950s in order to provide permanent housing to a large influx of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, Holocaust survivors from Europe and new immigrants , who arrived to the newly established State...

s that created in the 1950s under the leadership of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

. Dimona itself was conceived in 1953, and settled in 1955, mostly by new immigrants from Northern Africa, who also constructed the city's houses. The emblem of Dimona (as a local council), adopted 2 March 1961, appeared on a stamp issued on 24 March 1965.

When the Israeli nuclear program
Nuclear weapons and Israel
Israel is widely believed to be the sixth country in the world to have developed nuclear weapons and to be one of four nuclear-armed countries not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , the others being India, Pakistan and North Korea...

 started later that decade, a location not far from the city was chosen for the Negev Nuclear Research Center
Negev Nuclear Research Center
The Negev Nuclear Research Center is an Israeli nuclear installation located in the Negev desert, about thirteen kilometers to the south-east of the city of Dimona. The purpose of Dimona is widely assumed to be the manufacturing of nuclear weapons, and the majority of defense experts have...

 due to its relative isolation in the desert and availability of housing.

In spite of a gradual decrease during the 1980s, the city's population began to grow once again with the beginning of the Russian immigration in the 1990s
Aliyah from the Commonwealth of Independent States in the 1990s
Russian Jewish immigration to Israel began en masse in the 1990s when the liberal government of Mikhail Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel.-History:...

. Currently, Dimona is the third largest city in the Negev, with the population of 33,900.

On 4 February 2008 an Israeli woman was killed and 38 others injured in the town by a Palestinian suicide bomber (see Dimona bombing).

Population


Dimona is home to Israel's Black Hebrew community, governed by its founder and spiritual leader, Ben Ammi Ben-Israel. The Black Hebrews number about 3000 in Dimona, with additional families in Arad, Mitzpe Ramon
Mitzpe Ramon
Mitzpe Ramon is a town in the Negev desert of southern Israel. It is situated on the northern ridge at an elevation of 860 meters overlooking a sizable erosion cirque known as the Ramon Crater.-History:...

 and the Tiberias area. Their official status in Israel was an ongoing issue for many years, but in May 1990, the issue was resolved with the issuing of first B/1 visas, and a year later, issuing of temporary residency. Status was extended to August 2003, when the Israeli Ministry of Interior
Israeli Ministry of Interior
The Ministry of Interior in the State of Israel is one of Government offices that is responsible for local rule, citizenship and residency, identity cards , and student and entry visas.- Responsibility fields :...

 granted permanent residency
Permanent residency
Permanent residency refers to a person's visa status: the person is allowed to reside indefinitely within a country of which he or she is not a citizen. A person with such status is known as a permanent resident....

.

Economy


In the early 1980s, textile plants, such as Dimona Textiles Ltd., dominated the industrial landscape. Many plants have since closed. Dimona Silica Industries Ltd. manufactures precipitated silica and calcium carbonate fillers. About a third of the city's population works in industrial workplaces (chemical plants near the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 like the Dead Sea Works
Dead Sea Works
The Dead Sea Works is an Israeli potash plant in Sdom, on the Dead Sea coast of Israel.-History:The company was established in 1930 by Moshe Novomeysky. It was known then as the Palestine Potash Company...

, high-tech companies and textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 shops), and another third in the area of services. Due to the introduction of new technologies, many workers have been made redundant in the recent years, creating a total unemployment rate of about 10%. Dimona has taken part of Israel's solar transformation
Solar power in Israel
Solar power in Israel and the Israeli solar energy industry has a history that dates to the founding of the country. In the 1950s, Levi Yissar developed a solar water heater to help assuage an energy shortage in the new country. By 1967 around one in twenty households heated its water with the...

. The Rotem Industrial Complex outside of the city has dozens of solar mirrors that focus the sun's rays on a tower that in turn heats a water boiler to create steam, turning a turbine to create electricity. Luz II, Ltd. plans to use the solar array to test new technology for the three new solar plants to be built in California for Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
The Pacific Gas and Electric Company , commonly known as PG&E, is the utility that provides natural gas and electricity to most of the northern two-thirds of California, from Bakersfield almost to the Oregon border...

.

Transportation


In the early 1950s, an extension to Dimona and south was constructed from the Railway to Beersheba
Railway to Beersheba
The Railway to Beersheba is the common name for the railroad which currently stretches from central Israel to the Zin Factories in southern Israel, with spurs to the Be'er Sheva Center Railway Station, Ramat Hovav and the Arad phosphate mines and factories in Tzefa...

, designed for freight traffic. A passenger service began in 2005, after pressure from Dimona's municipality. Dimona Railway Station
Dimona Railway Station
Dimona Railway Station is a train station in Dimona, Israel opened in 2005.It is a 35km line between Dimona and Beersheba. It is a separate operating line within Israel Railways. The actual track carries on beyond the actual town itself to mines and freight yards....

 is located in the southwestern part of the city. The main bus terminal is the Dimona Central Bus Station, with lines to Beersheba
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....

, 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...

, Eilat, and nearby towns.


Notable residents


  • Lucy Aharish
    Lucy Aharish
    Lucy Aharish is an Israeli news presenter, reporter, and television host. She currently co-hosts a late-night show and a current events program for teenagers on Channel One...

    , news presenter, reporter, and television host
  • Jacques Amir
    Jacques Amir
    Ya'akov Jacques Amir was a former Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Alignment between 1974 and 1988.-Biography:...

     (1933–2011), Knesset member
  • Yossi Benayoun
    Yossi Benayoun
    Yosef Shai "Yossi" Benayoun is an Israeli international footballer who plays for Arsenal on loan from Chelsea.Benayoun plays as an attacking midfielder, often occupying the space just behind the striker. In Israel, he is sometimes nicknamed "The Diamond from Dimona". He is also the captain of the...

     (born 1980), footballer
  • Kfir Edri
    Kfir Edri
    Kfir Edri is an Israeli footballer and currently plays for Bnei Yehuda-External links:* * at IFA* at ONE...

     (born 1976), footballer

Twin towns


Dimona is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Andernach
Andernach
Andernach is a town in the district of Mayen-Koblenz, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, of currently about 30,000 inhabitants. It is situated towards the end of the Neuwied basin on the left bank of the Rhine between the former tiny fishing village of Fornich in the north and the mouth of the...

, Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

, 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...

(1975)

External links