Atlit

Atlit

Atlit (עתלית) is a small coastal town in the form of a communal settlement, located south of Haifa in Israel. Originally an outpost of the Crusaders, it fell in 1291. The modern village was founded in 1903 under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Its population today is about 4,500.

Geography

Neighborhoods in Atlit are Neve Moshe, Yamit, Giv'at HaPrahim, Giv'at HaBrekhot, Giv'at Sharon, Shoshanat HaYam, HaGoren, Yafe Nof, Argaman, Hofit, Savyonei Atlit and Allon. Atlit is in immediate vicinity of the villages Neve Yam and Ein Carmel.

History

The neighborhood of Atlit has produced evidence of human habitation since the early Bronze Age. The crusaders built Chateau Pelerin - one of the biggest citadels in the Holy Land, and the last remaining crusader outpost to withstand the assaults of Baibars. Its ruins are still visible. Atlit remained in crusader hands until 1291. Scattered reports of a village at the site were made during the following centuries and early Ottoman period. In 1880, the authors of the Survey of Western Palestine described a hamlet of adobe bricks with about 200 Arab inhabitants. In 1903, Jewish settlers build a nearby village which they also called Atlit. During the British Mandate of Palestine, the Arab and Jewish villages were treated statistically as part of the same community. In 1938 there were 508 Arabs and 224 Jews. The Arab presence underwent a sharp decline in the 1940s due to land sales, so that by 1944/5 there were only 150 Arabs still living there (90 Muslims and 60 Christians) alongside about 2000 Jews. The circumstances under which the remaining Arabs left in 1948 are unknown.

Atlit was declared a local council in 1950, but in 2004 was incorporated in the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council as one of a handful of Regional Committees.

Atlit detainee camp was used by the British authorities to detain illegal immigrants to Palestine. It is now the base of Israel's naval commando.

Former Knesset member Pesah Grupper lives in Atlit, and was head of its local council between 1959 and 1962 and again from 1969 until 1971.

References

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