Wadi Ara

Wadi Ara

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Encyclopedia
Wadi Ara or Nahal Iron , refers to an area within Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 that is mostly populated by 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....

s. It is located northwest of the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

 and is mostly within Israel's Haifa District
Haifa District
Haifa District is an administrative district surrounding the city of Haifa, Israel. The district is one of six administrative districts of Israel, and its capital is Haifa...

. Today, Highway 65
Highway 65 (Israel)
Highway 65 is a major highway in northern Israel. It connects Hadera with the Galilee.This road is the shortest and simplest way to connect these two major regions. Historically, people traveled on or near this route for thousands of years from the coastal plain to reach the Galilee, and beyond...

 runs through the wadi.

Geography


Wadi Ara is a 20 km Wadi
Wadi
Wadi is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. In some cases, it may refer to a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain or simply an intermittent stream.-Variant names:...

 in northern Israel, that begins at the meeting point of 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 :...

, the Plain of Manasseh
Plain of Manasseh
The Plain of Manasseh is a geographical region in northern Israel, located on the Carmel Range, between Mount Carmel and Mount Amir/Umm al-Fahm. While it is part of the mountain range, it is actually just 200 m above sea level on average, and peaks at 400 m...

, and the Sharon Plain. The riverbed begins near Umm al-Fahm
Umm al-Fahm
Umm al-Fahm is a city in the Haifa District of Israel with a population of 43,300, nearly all of whom are Arab citizens of Israel. The city is situated on the Umm al-Fahm mountain ridge, the highest point of which is Mt. Iskander , overlooking Wadi Ara...

, and runs SW on the boundary between the Manasseh hills and the Umm al-Fahm hills. Approximately 1 km west of the Border Patrol intersection on Highway 65, the wadi opens into the Sharon plain, and becomes a tributary of the Hadera Stream, south of Talmei Elazar
Talmei Elazar
Talmei Elazar is a moshav in northern Israel. Located in the eastern Sharon plain to the north-east of Hadera, it falls under the jurisdiction of Menashe Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 693....

 and north of Tel Zeror
Tel Zeror
Tel Zeror is an archaeological tel, approximately four km east of Hadera, SE of Kibbutz Gan Shmuel and south of Moshav Talmei Elazar. The tel, unconventionally, has two peaks, and between them is a field...

.

History


Wadi Ara is an ancient historical route connecting the Israeli coastal plain
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...

 with 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...

.

In the Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, the Egyptian king, Thutmose III
Thutmose III
Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh...

, is known to have used the route, then called Aruna, to surprise his enemies, and take control of Megiddo
Megiddo
Megiddo is a Hebrew place name that can refer to:* Tel Megiddo, site of an ancient city in northern Israel's Jezreel valley** Battle of Megiddo ** Battle of Megiddo ** Battle of Megiddo...

. According to information from a stela from Armant - the king of Kadesh
Kadesh
This article is about Kadesh in the lands of the Amurru, bordering on Damascus Syria up to Hammath; see also Kadesh or Kedesh Kadesh was an ancient city of the Levant, located on or near the headwaters or ford of the Orontes River...

 advanced his army to Megiddo. Thutmose III mustered his own army and departed Egypt, passing through the border fortress of Tjaru
Zarw
Tjaru was an ancient Egyptian fortress on the Way of Horus, the major road leading out of Egypt into Canaan. It also appeared, though much less commonly, under the names Zaru, Tharu, Djaru and Tjel, and was known to the Greeks as Zele or Sile...

 (Sile). Thutmose marched his troops through the coastal plain as far as Jamnia
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:...

, then inland to Yehem, a small city near Megiddo. The ensuing Battle of Megiddo
Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC)
The Battle of Megiddo was fought between Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the king of Kadesh. It is the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail. Megiddo is also the first recorded use of the...

 probably was the largest battle in any of Thutmose's seventeen campaigns. A ridge of mountains jutting inland 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...

 stood between Thutmose and Megiddo, and he had three potential routes to take. The northern route and the southern route, both of which went around the mountain, were judged by his council of war to be the safest, but Thutmose, in an act of great bravery (or so he boasts, but such self-praise is normal in Egyptian texts), accused the council of cowardice and took a dangerous route through the Aruna mountain pass, which he alleged was only wide enough for the army to pass "horse after horse and man after man."

Originally captured by Arab League forces (Iraqi) in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, it was ceded to Israel in an apparent exchange for territory south of Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 in the 1949 Israel-Jordan armistice. In March 1949 as the Iraqi forces withdrew from Palestine and handed over their positions to the smaller Jordanian legion, 3 Israeli brigades moved into positions in Operation Shin-Tav-Shin. Following the operation, Israel renegotiated the cease fire line in the Wadi Ara area of the Northern West Bank in an agreement reached on 23 March 1949 and incorporated into the General Armistice Agreement. It has been estimated that 15 villages were ceded to Israel.

Proposed Land Exchange



The area has come under political attention as some Israeli politician
Politics of Israel
The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of government and leader of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Knesset. The Judiciary is independent of the executive...

s such as Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party have brought up transferring the area
Lieberman Plan
The Lieberman Plan, also known in Israel as the "Populated-Area Exchange Plan", was proposed in May 2004 by Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the Israeli political party Yisrael Beiteinu...

 to the sovereignty and administration of the Palestinian Authority for a future Palestinian State. In return the Palestinian Authority would transfer specific large Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 "blocs" within the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 east of the Green Line to the Israel. According to politicians who support this land-swap, Israel would ensure and secure itself as a primarily Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

. However many politicians within the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 disagree and believe it would only decrease Israel's Arab population by a mere 10%, while most Israeli Arabs object to trading Israeli citizenship for Palestinian citizenship.

Arab

  • Aqqada
  • Ar'ara
    Ar'ara
    Ar'ara , is an Israeli Arab town in the Wadi Ara region in the Galilee. It is located south of Umm al-Fahm just northwest of the Green Line and is part of the Triangle...

     ('Ara included in municipal borders)
  • al-Arian
  • Baqa-Jatt (Merger of Baqa al-Gharbiyye
    Baqa al-Gharbiyye
    Baqa al-Gharbiyye is a predominantly Arab city in the Haifa District in Israel, located near the Green Line. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2001 the city had a total population of 19,200...

     and Jatt)
  • Basma
    Basma
    Basma is an Israeli-Arab local council located in the Wadi Ara area of the Haifa District. The local council was formed in 1995 through the consolidation of the villages of Barta'a West, Ein as-Sahala, and Muawiya; Basma is an acronym of the villages' names...

     (Merger of Barta'a West
    Barta'a
    Barta'a is a town that straddles both sides of the Green Line and the Wadi Ara region.Western Barta'a is in the Haifa District of Israel, and forms part of the Basma local council...

    , Ein as-Sahala, and Muawiya)
  • Buweishat
  • al-Byar
  • Dar al-Hanoun
  • Ein Ibrahim
  • Kafr Qara
  • Khor Saqr
  • Ma'ale Iron
    Ma'ale Iron
    Ma'ale Iron is an Israeli-Arab local council in Israel's Haifa District and is a part of the Wadi Ara region adjacent to the Triangle. The town consists of the five Arab villages of Baiada, Musmus, Salim, Musheirifa and Zalafa. The villages were joined together by the Interior Ministry of Israel...

     (Baiyada, Musmus
    Musmus
    Musmus is an Israeli-Arab village within the local council of Ma'ale Iron in Israel's Haifa District. It is located north of the city Umm al-Fahm in the Wadi Ara region and is part of the triangle.مصمص بلدة صغيرة تقع بالقرب من مرج ابن عامر-See also:...

    , Zalafa
    Zalafa
    Zalafa can refer to:*Khirbat Zalafa, a Palestinian village in the District of Tulkarm that was depopulated in April 1948*Zalafa, Ara Valley, a Palestinian village that was incorporated into Israel in 1948...

    , Musheirifa, Salim)
  • Meiser
    Meiser
    Meiser , is an Israeli Arab village located 0.5km west of the Green Line north of the city of Baqa-Jatt in the Wadi Ara region. It is one of three Arab villages in the Menashe Regional Council and is part of the triangle...

  • Muallaqa
  • Murtafi'a
  • al-Shari'ah
  • Umm al-Fahm
    Umm al-Fahm
    Umm al-Fahm is a city in the Haifa District of Israel with a population of 43,300, nearly all of whom are Arab citizens of Israel. The city is situated on the Umm al-Fahm mountain ridge, the highest point of which is Mt. Iskander , overlooking Wadi Ara...

  • Umm al-Qutuf
  • Zemer

Jewish

  • Ein Iron
    Ein Iron
    Ein Iron is a moshav in northern Israel. Located in the eastern Sharon plain to the north-east of Hadera, it falls under the jurisdiction of Menashe Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 452....

  • Barkai
    Barkai
    Barkai is an Israeli kibbutz in the Menashe Regional Council on the western side of Wadi Ara. Its main industries include thermal and acoustic insulation, lamination and packaging: the Polyon Barkai factory; and agriculture: cattle, poultry, avocado and field crops.-External links:* *...

  • Gan HaShomron
    Gan HaShomron
    Gan HaShomron is a moshav located north-east of Hadera , on the road to Afula, Highway 65. It is named for its location on at the foot of the Shomron mountains. It was established in the spring of 1934 by Jewish immigrants from Germany who trained as farmers in Nahalal and Ein Shemer...

  • Givat Oz
    Givat Oz
    Givat Oz is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located between Umm al-Fahm and Afula, it falls under the jurisdiction of Megiddo Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 359....

  • Ma'anit
    Ma'anit
    Ma'anit is a kibbutz located near the town of Pardes Hanna-Karkur in northern Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Menashe Regional Council.-History:...

  • Magal
    Magal
    Magal is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located in the Wadi Ara region of the northern Sharon plain near the Green Line, it falls under the jurisdiction of Menashe Regional Council...

  • Maor
  • Mei Ami
    Mei Ami
    Mei Ami is a moshav in northern Israel. Located near Wadi Ara around two kilometres south of Umm al-Fahm with an area of 3,500 dunams, it falls under the jurisdiction of Menashe Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 270....

  • Metzer
    Metzer
    Metzer is a kibbutz in the Menashe area of northern Israel.The kibbutz was founded on 8 September 1953 by immigrants from Argentina. In November 2002, a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the kibbutz and murdered 5 people including a mother and her two sons. The perpetrator, Sirhan Sirhan , was...

  • Katzir-Harish
    Katzir-Harish
    Katzir-Harish is a town in the Haifa District of Israel. It is an agglomeration of the villages Katzir, Harish and Mitzpe Ilan, near Umm al-Fahm in the Wadi Ara region. At the end of 2006, the town's population was 3,900. Its jurisdiction is 9,736 dunams.-History:Harish was founded by Nahal in...


See also

  • Arab citizens of Israel
    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....

  • Egged bus 841 massacre
  • Highway 65
    Highway 65 (Israel)
    Highway 65 is a major highway in northern Israel. It connects Hadera with the Galilee.This road is the shortest and simplest way to connect these two major regions. Historically, people traveled on or near this route for thousands of years from the coastal plain to reach the Galilee, and beyond...

  • Menashe Regional Council
    Menashe Regional Council
    The Menashe Regional Council is a regional council near the city of Hadera, on Israel's north-central coastal plain in the southern Haifa District.-List of localities:...

  • Wadi Ara (village)
    Wadi Ara (village)
    Wadi Ara is a former Palestinian Arab village located 38.5 km south of the city of Haifa. It is named after the nearby stream that is known in Arabic as Wadi 'Ara. The village was particularly small with a population of 230 and a land area of approximately 9,800 dunums.-History:The...