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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kiryat Shmona

(Israel Twitter)Kiryat Shmona, קִרְיַת שְׁמוֹנָה‎‎, lit. City of the Eight, is a city located in the North District of Israel on the western slopes of the Hula Valley on the Lebanese border. The city was named for the eight people, including Joseph Trumpeldor, who died in 1920 defending Tel Hai.
Today, about one-third of Kiryat Shmona's population of 23,100 are younger than 19, and the majority of its inhabitants are Jews, particularly of Sephardic descent. Located near the Israel-Lebanon border, Kiryat Shmona is Israel's northernmost city.

The town of Kiryat Shmona was established in May 1949 on the site of the former Bedouin village Al-Khalisa, whose inhabitants fled the village after Safed was captured by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Haganah, according to Benny Morris and Walid Khalidi, turned down their request for an 'agreement'. Initially it was used as a transit camp for immigrants who worked mainly in farming. In 1953 it was classified as a development town. The town is named after eight members of nearby Tel Hai who were killed in 1920 during the Arab revolt against the French.

Attacks
Kiryat Shmona's location close to the Lebanon makes it a rich target for rocket fire cross-border attacks.
On April 11, 1974, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, sent three members across the border from Lebanon to Kiryat Shmona. They killed eighteen residents of an apartment building, including many children, before being killed in an exchange of fire at the complex, which became known as the Kiryat Shmona massacre. 
The city continued to be the target of attacks after this, including Katyusha rocket attacks by the PLO in July 1981, a Katyusha rocket attack by the PLO in March 1986 (killing a teacher and injuring four students and one adult), and further Katyusha rocket attacks by Hezbollah during 1996's Operation Grapes of Wrath. The citizens of the town had suffered almost daily attack from the mid 1970's until 2000, when the IDF left Lebanon.
In the years 2000–2006, the locals enjoyed relative peace but suffered from loud explosions every few weeks because of Hezbollah anti-aircraft cannons fired at IAF planes flying across the Israeli-Lebanese border.
During the 2006 Lebanon War, the city was again the target of Hezbollah Katyusha rocket attacks. Approximately half of the city’s residents had left the area, and the other half who remained stayed in bomb shelters. During the war, a total of 1,012 Katyusha rockets hit Kiryat Shmona.

Income
According to CBS, as of 2000, in the city there were 8,303 salaried workers and 467 are self-employed. The mean monthly wage in 2000 for a salaried worker in the city is 4,306 shekels, a real change of 4.6% over the course of 2000. Salaried males have a mean monthly wage of 5,443 shekels (a real change of 7.1%) versus 3,065 shekels for females (a real change of −2.2%). The mean income for the self-employed is 6,769. There are 564 people who receive unemployment benefits and 1,655 people who receive an income guarantee.
Industry
Kiryat Shmona has diverse economic activities amongst its inhabitants. The town's economy is based on both light industry, involving consumer-oriented products such as communications, information technology, and electronics as well as agriculture on the surrounding lands and tourism.
Tourism
The town has a cable car link with Manara above in the Naftali mountain range and also is home to an activity center and toboggan run located in the south of the town.

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