Galilee

Galilee

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Galilee is a large region in northern Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 which overlaps with much of the administrative North District
North District (Israel)
The Northern District is one of Israel's six administrative districts. The Northern District has a land area of 4,478 km², which increases to 4,638  km² when both land and water are included...

 of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee
Upper Galilee
The Upper Galilee is a geographical-political term in use since the end of the Second Temple period, originally referring to a mountainous area overlapping the present northern Israel and southern Lebanon, its borders being the Litani river in the north, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Beit...

 ( Galil Elyon), Lower Galilee ( Galil Tahton), and Western Galilee ( Galil Ma'aravi), extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

, along Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon , as a geographic designation, is a Lebanese mountain range, averaging above 2,200 meters in height and receiving a substantial amount of precipitation, including snow, which averages around four meters deep. It extends across the whole country along about , parallel to the...

 to the ridges of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

 and Mount Gilboa to the south, and from the Jordan Rift Valley
Jordan Rift Valley
The Jordan Rift Valley is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth...

 to the east across the plains of the Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

 and Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

 to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea
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...

 and the Coastal Plain
Coastal plain
A coastal plain is an area of flat, low-lying land adjacent to a seacoast and separated from the interior by other features. One of the world's longest coastal plains is located in eastern South America. The southwestern coastal plain of North America is notable for its species diversity...

 in the west.

Geography


Most of Galilee consists of rocky terrain, at heights of between 500 and 700 metres. There are several high mountains including Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor
-Places:*Mount Tabor, a hill in Israel near Nazareth believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration of ChristIn the United States:*Mount Tabor, Indiana, an unincorporated community...

 and Mount Meron in the region, which have relatively low temperatures and high rainfall. As a result of this climate, flora and wildlife thrive in the region, while many birds annually migrate from colder climates to Africa and back through the Hula–Jordan corridor. The streams and waterfalls, the latter mainly in Upper Galilee, along with vast fields of greenery and colourful wildflowers, as well as numerous towns of biblical importance, make the region a popular tourist destination
Tourism in Israel
Tourism in Israel is one of the country's major sources of income, with 3.45 million tourist arrivals in 2010. Israel offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in...

.

Due to its high rainfall (900–1200 mm), mild temperatures and high mountains (Mount Meron's elevation is 1,000–1,208 metres), the upper Galilee region contains some unique flora and fauna: prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus
Juniperus oxycedrus
Juniperus oxycedrus is a species of juniper, native across the Mediterranean region from Morocco and Portugal, north to southern France, east to westernmost Iran, and south to Lebanon and Israel, growing on a variety of rocky sites from sea level up...

), Lebanese cedar (Cedrus libani), which grows in a small grove on Mount Meron, cyclamen
Cyclamen
Cyclamen is a genus of 23 species of perennials growing from tubers, valued for their flowers with upswept petals and variably patterned leaves...

s, paeonia
Paeonia
Paeonia or Paionia may refer to:*the generic name of the peony*the ancient tribe and kingdom of Paeonia , in today's northern Greece and the Republic of Macedonia*Paionia , a municipality in northern Greece...

s and Rhododendron ponticum
Rhododendron ponticum
Rhododendron ponticum, called Common Rhododendron or Pontic Rhododendron, is a species of Rhododendron native to southern Europe and southwest Asia.-Description:...

which sometimes appears on Meron.

History



According to the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

 rewarded Hiram I
Hiram I
Hiram I , according to the Hebrew Bible, was the Phoenician king of Tyre. He reigned from 980 to 947 BC, succeeding his father, Abibaal. Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by his son Baal-Eser I...

 for certain services by giving him the gift of an upland plain among the mountains of Naphtali
Naphtali
According to the Book of Genesis, Naphtali was the second son of Jacob with Bilhah. He was the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Naphtali. However, some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the...

. Hiram called it "the land of Cabul
Cabul
Cabul is the name of two places in ancient Israel mentioned in the Hebrew Bible:*A district in the north-west of Galilee, near Tyre, containing twenty cities given to Hiram by Solomon as a reward for various services rendered to him in building the temple. Hiram was not pleased with the gift,...

". The region takes its name from the Hebrew galil, "district", "circle", a noun which, in the construct state, requires a genitival noun. Hence the Biblical "Galilee of the Nations", Hebrew"galil goyim"(Isaiah 9:1). The "nations" would have been the foreigners
who came to settle there, or who had been forcibly deported there. The region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 in turn gave the English name "Sea of Galilee" to the Kinneret
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

 (Numbers 34:11, etc.), from Hebrew kinnor, "harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

", describing its shape
Shape
The shape of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material...

, Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1, etc.), from Ginosar
Ginosar
Ginosar , , is a kibbutz on the western banks of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Located north of Tiberias on Highway 90, it falls under the jurisdiction of Emek HaYarden Regional Council...

 (Hebrew) ge", valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

", and
either netser, "branch
Branch
A branch or tree branch is a woody structural member connected to but not part of the central trunk of a tree...

", or natsor, "to guard", "to watch" (the name which may have given that of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, and Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1, etc.), from the town of Tiberias at its southwestern end; named for the first century A.D. emperor
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 Tiberias.

In Roman times, the country was divided into Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

, Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

, and Galilee, which comprised the whole northern section of the country, and was the largest of the three regions. Herod Antipas
Herod Antipas
Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

, son of Herod the Great
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...

, ruled Galilee as tetrarch
Tetrarchy (Judea)
The Tetrarchy of Judea was formed following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, when his kingdom was divided between his sons as an inheritance...

.

The Galilee region was presumably the home of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 during at least 30 years of his life. The first three Gospels of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 are mainly an account of Jesus' public ministry in this province, particularly in the towns of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

 and Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

. Galilee is also cited as the place where Jesus cured a blind man.

After the 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...

 caliphate took control of the region in 638, it became part of Jund al-Urrdun (District of Jordan). Its major towns were Tiberias — which was capital of the district—Qadas
Qadas
Qadas was a Lebanese village located 17 kilometers northeast of Safad that was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. One of seven Shiite Muslim villages called Metawalis that fell within the boundaries of British Mandate Palestine, Qadas lay adjacent to Nebi Yusha, near the tel of the...

, Baysan, Acre, Saffuriya and Kabul
Kabul, Israel
Kabul is an Arab town in the North District of Israel, located southeast of Acre and north of Shefa-'Amr.- History :Kabul is the Biblical Cabul mentioned by Joshua. It was assigned to the Tribe of Asher . King Solomon handed it over to Hiram I, the king of Phoenicia, because he helped Solomon...

.
The Shia Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

s conquered the region in the 10th century; a breakaway sect, venerating the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim
Hakim (title)
' and ' are two Arabic titles derived from the same triliteral ḤKM "appoint, choose, judge". Compare the Hebrew title hakham.-Hakīm :...

, formed the Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 religion, centred in and to north of, Galilee. Eastern Galilee, however, retained a Jewish majority for most of its history. During the Crusades, Galilee was organized into the Principality of Galilee
Principality of Galilee
The Principality of Galilee was one of the four major seigneuries of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, according to 13th-century commentator John of Ibelin. The direct holdings of the principality were around Tiberias, in Galilee proper, but with all its vassals, the lordship covered all Galilee...

, one of the most important Crusader seigneuries.

The Jewish population of Galilee increased significantly following their expulsion from Spain
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...

 and welcome from the Ottoman Empire
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...

. The community for a time made Safed
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...

 an international center of cloth weaving and manufacturing, as well as a key site for Jewish learning. Today it remains one of Judaism's four holy cities
Four Holy Cities
The Four Holy Cities , is the collective term in Jewish tradition applied to the cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed: "Since the sixteenth century the holiness of Palestine, especially for burial, has been almost wholly transferred to four cities—Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and...

 and a center for kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

.

In the mid 18th century, Galilee was caught up in a struggle between the Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 leader Dhaher al-Omar and 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...

 authorities who were centred in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

. Al-Omar ruled Galilee for 25 years until Ottoman loyalist Jezzar Pasha
Jezzar Pasha
Ahmed al-Jazzar was the Ottoman ruler of Acre and the Galilee from 1775 until his death.-Biography:...

 conquered the region in 1775.

In 1831 the Galilee, a part of Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

, switched hands from Ottomans to Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

 until 1840. During this period aggressive social and politic policies were introduced, which led to a violent 1834 Arab revolt
1834 Arab revolt in Palestine
The 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine was a reaction to conscription into the Egyptian army by the Wāli Muhammad Ali. Ali, as a part of a modernisation policy, began the conscription of ordinary subjects. Traditionally, soldiers were recruited from freebooters, loot-seekers, mercenaries, slaves or...

. In the process of this revolt the Jewish community of Sefad was greatly reduced, in an event of Sefad Plunder by the rebels. The Arab rebels were subsequently defeated by the Egyptian troops, though in 1838 the Druze of Galilee led another uprising. In 1834 and 1837 major earthquakes leveled most of the towns, resulting in great loss of life.

20th and 21st Century



In the early 20th century, Galilee was inhabited by Arab Christians, Arab 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...

s, Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 and Jews, whilst the Ottomans also settled minorities from elsewhere in their empire including Circassians and Bosniaks
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

. Two Circassian villages exist in the Galilee region today. The Jewish population was increased significantly by Zionist immigration.

After the 1948 Arab–Israeli war nearly the whole of Galilee came under Israel's control. A large portion of the population fled or were forced to leave, leaving dozens of entire villages empty; however, a large Israeli Arab
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

 community remained based in and near the cities of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

, Tamra
Tamra
Tamra is an Israeli Arab city in the North District of Israel located in the Lower Galilee north of the city of Shefa-'Amr and approximately east of Akko . The name Tamra means date palm in Arabic...

, Sakhnin
Sakhnin
Sakhnin is a city in Israel's North District. It is located in the Lower Galilee, about east of Acre. Sakhnin was declared a city in 1995. Its population of 25,100 is Arab, mostly Muslim with a sizable Christian minority. It is located on the site of the ancient Jewish town Sikhnin, which...

 and Shefa-'Amr
Shefa-'Amr
Shefa-'Amr, also Shfar'am is a predominantly Arab city in the North District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a population of 35,300.-Etymology:...

, due to some extent to a successful rapprochement with the Druze. The kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

im around the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

 were sometimes shelled by the Syrian army
Syrian Army
The Syrian Army, officially called the Syrian Arab Army, is the land force branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the senior most posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the...

's artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 until Israel seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

.

During the 1970s and the early 1980s, the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) launched several attacks
Israel-Lebanon conflict
The Israeli–Lebanese conflict describes a series of related military clashes involving Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, as well as various non-state militias acting from within Lebanon....

 on towns of the Upper and Western Galilee from Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. Israel initiated Operation Litani
Operation Litani
The 1978 South Lebanon conflict was an invasion in Lebanon up to the Litani River carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in 1978. It was a military success for the Israeli Defense Forces, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river...

 (1979) and Operation Peace For Galilee (1982) with the stated objectives of destroying the PLO infrastructure in Lebanon and protecting the citizens of the Galilee. Israel occupied much of Southern Lebanon until 1985 when it withdrew to a narrow security buffer zone
Israeli Security Zone
The Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon was a strip of territory of varying width, , from the Israeli border and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israeli forces from 1985 to 2000. Additional regions controlled by the South Lebanon Army are sometimes included under the term...

.

Until the year 2000, Hezbollah, and earlier Amal
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

, continued to fight the Israeli Defence Forces, sometimes shelling Upper Galilee communities with Katyusha rockets. In May 2000, Israeli prime minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 unilaterally withdrew IDF troops from southern Lebanon, maintaining a security force on the Israeli side of the international border
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

 recognized by the UN. However, clashes between Hezbollah and Israel continued along the border, and UN observers condemned both for their attacks.

The 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

 was characterized by round-the-clock Katyusha
Katyusha
Katyusha multiple rocket launchers are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Compared to other artillery, these multiple rocket launchers deliver a devastating amount of explosives to a target area quickly, but with lower accuracy and requiring a...

 rocket attacks (with a greatly extended range) by Hezbollah on the whole of Galilee, with long-range ground-launched missiles, hitting as far south as the Sharon plain, Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

, and Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

 below the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

.

Demography


The largest cities in the region are Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

, Nahariya
Nahariya
Nahariya is the northernmost coastal city in Israel, with an estimated population of 51,200.-History:Nahariya was founded by German Jewish immigrants from the Fifth Aliyah in the 1930s...

, Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, Safed
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...

, Karmiel
Karmiel
Karmiel is a city in northern Israel. Established in 1964 as a development town, Karmiel is located in the Beit HaKerem Valley which divides upper and lower Galilee. The city is located south of the Acre-Safed road, from Safed and from Acre...

, Shaghur, Afula
Afula
Afula is a city in the North District of Israel, often known as the "Capital of the Valley", referring to the Jezreel Valley. The city had a population of 40,500 at the end of 2009.-History:...

, and Tiberias. The port city of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 serves as a commercial center for the whole region.

Because of its hilly terrain, most of the settlements in the Galilee are small villages connected by relatively few roads. A railroad runs south from Nahariya
Nahariya
Nahariya is the northernmost coastal city in Israel, with an estimated population of 51,200.-History:Nahariya was founded by German Jewish immigrants from the Fifth Aliyah in the 1930s...

 along the Mediterranean coast
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...

. The main sources of livelihood throughout the area are in the fields of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

. Industrial park
Industrial park
An industrial park is an area zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development...

s are being developed, bringing further employment opportunities to the local population which includes many recent immigrants. The Israeli government is contributing funding to the private initiative, The Galilee Finance Facility, organised by the Milken Institute
Milken Institute
The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank based in Santa Monica, California that publishes research and hosts conferences that apply market-based principles and financial innovations to a variety of societal issues in the US and internationally.The mission of the Institute, founded...

 and Koret Economic Development Fund.

Galilee is home to a large Arab
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

 population, with a particularly large Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 population. The central portion of the Galilee also known as the "Heart of the Galilee" stretching from the border with Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 to the northern edge of the Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

 including the cities of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, Sakhnin
Sakhnin
Sakhnin is a city in Israel's North District. It is located in the Lower Galilee, about east of Acre. Sakhnin was declared a city in 1995. Its population of 25,100 is Arab, mostly Muslim with a sizable Christian minority. It is located on the site of the ancient Jewish town Sikhnin, which...

, Shaghur, Tamra
Tamra
Tamra is an Israeli Arab city in the North District of Israel located in the Lower Galilee north of the city of Shefa-'Amr and approximately east of Akko . The name Tamra means date palm in Arabic...

 and Kafr Kanna has an Arab population of 75% with most of the Jewish population living in small hilltop towns, and cities like Karmiel
Karmiel
Karmiel is a city in northern Israel. Established in 1964 as a development town, Karmiel is located in the Beit HaKerem Valley which divides upper and lower Galilee. The city is located south of the Acre-Safed road, from Safed and from Acre...

, and Ma'alot. Meanwhile the eastern Galilee including the Finger of the Galilee
Finger of the Galilee
The Finger of the Galilee is a panhandle along the Hula Valley in northern Israel. It contains the towns Metula and Kiryat Shmona and the rivers of Dan and Banias...

, the Jordan River Valley, and the Region around the Sea of Galilee are nearly 100% Jewish. The Southern part of the Galilee; including Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

, and the Gilboa
Gilboa
Gilboa is a Hebrew word and the name of several places:*Mount Gilboa, a biblical locale in Israel, where king saul's sons were killed by the philistines, and saul took his own life...

 region are also nearly 100% Jewish with only a few small Arab villages near the West Bank border. At the same time about 80% of the population of the Western Galilee is Jewish. The region directly under the Lebanese Border, especially in the Northwest is largely Jewish as well. The Jewish Agency has attempted to increase the Jewish population
Judaization of the Galilee
Judaization of the Galilee is a regional project and policy of the Israeli government and associated private organizations which is intended to increase Jewish population and communities in the Galilee, a region within Israel which has a Palestinian Arab majority.-Background:With the termination...

 in this area, but the non-Jewish population continues to grow. In 2006, out of the 1.2 million residents in the Galilee area some 53.1% were of various minorities, while only 46.9% were Jewish.

Tourism


Galilee is a popular destination for domestic and foreign tourists who enjoy its scenery, recreational, and gastronomic offerings.
The Galilee attracts many Christian pilgrims
Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the ministry of Jesus. Surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Jerusalem date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers like Saint Jerome and established by Helena, the mother of...

, as many of the miracles of Jesus
Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well...

 occurred, according to the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

 - including his walking on water, calming the storm
Calming the storm
thumb|240px|[[The Storm on the Sea of Galilee]] by [[Rembrandt]], 1632.Calming the storm is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, namely in Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25 and Matthew 8:23-27....

, and his feeding five thousand people
Feeding the multitude
Feeding the multitude is the combined term used to refer to two separate miracles of Jesus in the Gospels.The First Miracle, "The Feeding of the 5,000" is the only miracle which is present in all four canonical Gospels...

 in Tabgha
Tabgha
Tabgha is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus in Christianity. Until 1948, it was the site of an Arab village.The...

. In addition, numerous sites of biblical importance are located in the Galilee, such as Megiddo, Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

, Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor
-Places:*Mount Tabor, a hill in Israel near Nazareth believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration of ChristIn the United States:*Mount Tabor, Indiana, an unincorporated community...

, Hazor, Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin
Horns of Hattin is an extinct volcano with twin peaks overlooking the plains of Hattin in the Lower Galilee, Israel.-History:...

 and more.

On April 2011, Israel unveiled the "Jesus Trail
Jesus Trail
The Jesus Trail is a hiking and pilgrimage route in the Galilee region of Israel that traces the route Jesus may have walked, connecting many sites from his life and ministry...

", a 40 mile (60-kilometre) hiking trail in the Galilee for Christian pilgrims. the trail includes a network of footpaths, roads and bicycle paths linking sites central to the lives of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and his disciples, including Tabgha
Tabgha
Tabgha is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus in Christianity. Until 1948, it was the site of an Arab village.The...

, the traditional site of Jesus' miracle of the loaves and fishes, and the Mount of Beatitudes, where he delivered his Sermon on the Mount. It ends at Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other...

 on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

, where Jesus espoused his teachings.

Many kibbutzim
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

 and 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...

 families operate Zimmers
Bed and breakfast
A bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast, but usually does not offer other meals. Since the 1980s, the meaning of the term has also extended to include accommodations that are also known as "self-catering" establishments...

(German: "room", the local term for a B&B
Bed and breakfast
A bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast, but usually does not offer other meals. Since the 1980s, the meaning of the term has also extended to include accommodations that are also known as "self-catering" establishments...

). Numerous festivals are held throughout the year, especially in the autumn and spring holiday seasons. These include the Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

 (Acco) Festival of Alternative Theater, the olive harvest festival, and music festivals featuring Anglo-American folk, klezmer
Klezmer
Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations...

, Renaissance, and chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

.

Regions


Galilee is often divided into the following sub-regions:
  • Western Galilee, also known the "Northern Coastal Plain", stretches from north of Haifa
    Haifa
    Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

     up to Rosh HaNikra
    Rosh Hanikra (kibbutz)
    Rosh HaNikra is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located on the Mediterranean coast near the Rosh HaNikra grottoes and the border with Lebanon, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Asher Regional Council...

     on the Israel-Lebanon border
    Blue Line (Lebanon)
    The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

    .
  • Lower Galilee covers the area from Mount Carmel
    Mount Carmel
    Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

     and Mount Gilboa in the south to the Beit HaKerem Valley in the north. Its eastern border is the Jordan River.
  • Upper Galilee
    Upper Galilee
    The Upper Galilee is a geographical-political term in use since the end of the Second Temple period, originally referring to a mountainous area overlapping the present northern Israel and southern Lebanon, its borders being the Litani river in the north, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Beit...

    extends from the Beit HaKerem Valley northwards into southern Lebanon
    Southern Lebanon
    Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

    . Its eastern border is the Sea of Galilee
    Sea of Galilee
    The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

     and the mountains of the Golan Heights. The "Finger of Galilee" is a panhandle
    Panhandle
    A panhandle is an informal geographic term for an elongated arm-like protrusion of a geo-political entity, such as a subnational entity or a sovereign state.-Term:...

     along the Hulah Valley
    Hulah Valley
    The Hula Valley is an agricultural region in northern Israel with abundant fresh water. It is a major stopover for birds migrating along the Syrian-African Rift Valley between Africa, Europe, and Asia. The marshland around Lake Hula, a breeding grounds for malaria, was drained in the 1950s...

    ; it contains the towns Metulla and Qiryat Shemona and the rivers of Dan
    Dan River (Israel)
    The Dan River is the largest tributary of the Jordan river, whose source is located at the base of Mount Hermon. The river is so named after the Israelite city of Dan, which was captured by the Tribe of Dan during the Judges period. The tribe of Dan conquered the city, then named Laish and then...

     and Banias
    Banias
    Banias is an archaeological site by the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, located at the foot of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights...

    ; also the Arab village of Cana
    Cana
    In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

    .


See also



  • North District (Israel)
    North District (Israel)
    The Northern District is one of Israel's six administrative districts. The Northern District has a land area of 4,478 km², which increases to 4,638  km² when both land and water are included...

  • Tourism in Israel
    Tourism in Israel
    Tourism in Israel is one of the country's major sources of income, with 3.45 million tourist arrivals in 2010. Israel offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in...

  • The Koenig Memorandum

Further studies

  • Aviam, M., "Galilee: The Hellenistic to Byzantine Periods," in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 2 (4 vols) (Jerusalem: IES / Carta), 1993, 452–458.
  • Meyers, Eric M. (ed), Galilee through the Centuries: Confluence of Cultures (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999) (Duke Judaic Studies 1).
  • Chancey, A. M., Myth of a Gentile Galilee: The Population of Galilee and New Testament Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) (Society of New Testament Monograph Series 118).
  • Aviam, M., "First-century Jewish Galilee: An archaeological perspective," in Edwards, D.R. (ed.), Religion and Society in Roman Palestine: Old Questions, New Approaches (New York / London: Routledge, 2004), 7–27.
  • Aviam, M., Jews, Pagans and Christians in the Galilee (Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press, 2004) (Land of Galilee 1).
  • Chancey, Mark A., Greco-Roman Culture and the Galilee of Jesus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, 134).
  • Freyne, Sean, "Galilee and Judea in the First Century," in Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (eds), Cambridge History of Christianity. Vol. 1. Origins to Constantine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) (Cambridge History of Christianity), 163-194.
  • Zangenberg, Jürgen, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin (eds), Religion, Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2007) (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 210).
  • Fiensy, David A., "Population, Architecture, and Economy in Lower Galilean Villages and Towns in the First Century AD: A Brief Survey," in John D. Wineland, Mark Ziese, James Riley Estep Jr. (eds), My Father's World: Celebrating the Life of Reuben G. Bullard (Eugene (OR), Wipf & Stock, 2011), 101-119.