Kiryat Gat

Kiryat Gat

Infobox Israel municipality
name=Kiryat Gat

imgsize= 75px
hebname=Hebrew|קִרְיַת גַּת
arname= _ar. كريات جات
latd=31 |latm=36 |lats=22 |latNS=N |longd=34 |longm=46 |longs=18 |longEW=E

mayor= Aviram Dahari
website= [ he icon]

Kiryat Gat ( _he. קִרְיַת גַּת, _ar. كريات جات) , is a city in the Southern District of Israel. It lies convert|56|km|mi south of Tel-Aviv, convert|43|km|mi north of Beersheba and convert|68|km|mi from Jerusalem. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), at the end of 2005 the city had a total population of 47,600.


Kiryat Gat is named for Gath, one of the five major cities of the Philistines. In Hebrew, "gat" means wine press. In the 1950s, archaeologists found ruins at nearby tel which were mistaken for the Philistine city of Gath. The real Gath was later discovered thirteen kilometers to the northeast at Tel es-Safi/Tel Gath. Gath was the hometown of the biblical giant Goliath the Gittite. ["The Guide to Israel," Zeev Vilnay, Hamakor Press, Jerusalem 1970, p.250]

Modern Kiryat Gat was established in 1955 as a development town by 18 families from Morocco. [ Partnership 2000, Kiryat Gat] Jewish United Fund] The population rose quickly from 4,400 inhabitants in 1958 to 17,000 in 1969, mostly Jewish immigrants from North Africa. The economy was initially based on processing the agricultural produce of the Lachish region, such as cotton and wool. In December 1972, Kiryat Gat's municipal status was upgraded and it became Israel's 31st city. ["Kiryat Gat". "Encyclopaedia Judaica" (CD-ROM Edition Version 1.0). Ed. Cecil Roth. Keter Publishing House. ISBN 965-07-0665-8]


According to Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the city's population in 2005 was 47,600. The ethnic makeup of the city was primarily Jewish and other non-Arabs. [cite web
title=Kiryat Gat- Municipality Profile
publisher=Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
] In its early years, Kiryat Gat was populated mainly by Jews of Mizrahi origin. Since the mass immigration of Soviet Jews, approximately one third of the inhabitants hail from the former Soviet Union."Rosenthal, Donna. "The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land". New York: Free Press, 2003. pp. 124-126.]


The Polgat textile factory was the main employer in the town until it closed in the 1990s. In 1999, Intel opened a chip fabrication plant, known as Fab 18, to produce Pentium 4 chips and flash memories. Intel received a grant of $525 million from the Israeli government to build the plant. In February, 2006, the cornerstone was laid for Intel's second Kiryat Gat plant, Fab 28, which is due to begin production in the second half of 2008. Despite this, Kiryat Gat has one of Israel's highest unemployment rates. [ [ Intel Inside] 5 January 2006, "Jerusalem Post"]

According to CBS figures for 2000, there were 15,257 salaried workers and 1,152 self-employed persons in Kiryat Gat. The mean monthly wage for a salaried worker was 4,125 shekels, a real change of +4.9% over the course of 2000. Salaried males had a mean monthly wage of 5,199 shekels (a real change of +7.3%) compared to 2,956 shekels for females (a real change of -1.8%). The mean income for the self-employed was NIS 5,494. A total of 1,336 residents received unemployment benefits and 6,487 received income supplements.

Schools and education

Kiryat Gat has 25 schools with an enrollment of 10,676. Of these schools, 18 are elementary schools with a student population of 5,498, and 13 are high schools with a student population of 5,178. In 2001, 54.7% of Kiryat Gat's 12th grade students graduated with a matriculation certificate. Kiryat Gat has a Pedagogic Center, science centers, a computerized library and a center devoted to industry, art and technology.


The city's football team, Maccabi Kiryat Gat were promoted to Ligat ha'Al in 2001, but were relegated at the end of their first season at the top level. Since then, financial problems have led to the club being demoted to Liga Alef (the fourth tier), where they remain today.

Notable residents

*Ninet Tayeb, Israeli singer and actress

External links

* Official Site of the Kiryat Gat municipality: [ Kiryat Gat Municipality] . In Hebrew.


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