- Kiryat Shmona
Infobox Israel municipality
caption=Kiryat Shmona in the winter of 2006; Mt. Hermon is in the background
hebname=Hebrew|קִרְיַת שְׁמוֹנָה, קריית שמונה
meaning=City of Eight
latd=33 |latm=12 |lats=27
longd=35 |longm=34 |longs=11
Kiryat Shmona ( _he. קִרְיַת שְׁמוֹנָה, "lit." City of the Eight) is a
citylocated in the North District of Israelon the western slopes of the Hula Valleyon the Lebanese border. The name 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 22,100Cite web|url=http://www.cbs.gov.il/population/new_2009/table3.pdf|publisher= Israel Central Bureau of Statistics|title=Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 1,000 Residents and Other Rural Population|date=2008-06-30|accessdate=2008-09-29] are younger than 19, and the majority of its inhabitants are Jews, particularly of Sephardic descent.
The town of Kiryat Shmona was established in May 1949Cite encyclopedia|author=Vilnai, Ze'ev|title=Kiryat Shmona|encyclopedia=Ariel Encyclopedia|volume=Volume 7|pages=pp. 7111-12|publisher=Am Oved|location=Israel|year=1979 he icon] on the site of the former
Bedouinvillage al-Khalisa as a transit camp for immigrants who worked mainly in farming. In 1953 it was classified as a development town.Cite book|title=Lexicon of the Land of Israel|publisher=Miskal - Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed Books|year=1999|author=HaReuveni, Immanuel|pages=p. 852|isbn=965-448-413-7 he icon]
Stone rubble from the houses marks the site of al-Khalisa whilst the school, village mosque and minaret, as well as the Mandate government's office buildings stand abandoned. The level land surrounding the site was cultivated by the settlers and has continued to be done so.fact|date=October 2008
Kiryat Shmona's location close to the Lebanon makes it a rich target for 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. [cite web|url=http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/time70s.html|publisher= Jewish Virtual Library|title=Modern Israel & the Diaspora (1970-1979)|accessdate=2008-09-29] [cite web|url=http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1967to1991_terrorism_1970s.php|title=What Happenned to Ma'alot, Kiryat Shmona, and Other Terrorist Targets in the 1970s?|publisher=Palestine Facts|accessdate=2008-09-29]
The city continued to be the target of attacks after this, including
Katyusharocket attacks by the PLO in July 1981, [cite web|url=http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id113.htm|title=The Daily News - July 1981|publisher=The Eighties Club|accessdate=2008-09-29] a Katyusha rocket attack by the PLO in March 1986 (killing a teacher and injuring four students and one adult), [cite web|url=http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/1ce874ab1832a53e852570bb006dfaf6/47b4f73f22caf46e8025647d004278c5!OpenDocument|title=Yearbook of the United Nations 1986 - Volume 40|date=1986-12-31|publisher= United Nations|accessdate=2008-09-29] [cite web|url=http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,961066,00.html|title=World Notes Middle East|publisher=Time Magazine|date=1986-04-07|accessdate=2008-09-29] [cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE7DC103BF93BA15750C0A960948260|title=New Rocket Casualties|publisher= New York Times|author=Friedman, Thomas L.|date=1986-03-28|accessdate=2008-09-29] and further Katyusha rocket attacks by Hezbollahduring 1996's Operation Grapes of Wrath. [cite web|url=http://www.historyguy.com/israel-lebanon_conflict.html|title=The History Guy: The Israel-Lebanon Conflict (1978-present)|accessdate=2008-09-29] 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.
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.
Kiryat Shmona is located in the
Finger of the Galileenext to the Hula Valley, about 5 km south and 2 km east of the Israel–Lebanon border. Its elevation is about 150 m above sea level.
According to CBS, in 2001 the ethnic makeup of the city was 97.9%
Jewish and other non-Arabs, without significant Arabpopulation. In 2001 there were 121 immigrant settlers. The Jewish population of the town is largely of North Africanand Middle Easternheritage, and many are industrial workers employed in local small industry and in neighboring kibbutzim.
According to CBS, in 2001 there were 10,800 males and 10,700 females. The population of the city was spread out with 33.5% 19 years of age or younger, 19.8% between 20 and 29, 19.3% between 30 and 44, 15.3% from 45 to 59, 3.5% from 60 to 64, and 8.5% 65 years of age or older. The population growth rate in 2001 was 1.8%.
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.
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.
The town has a cable car link with Manara above in the Naftali mountain range and also is home to an activity center and
tobogganrun located in the south of the town.
According to CBS, there are 12 schools and 4,339 students in the city. They are spread out as 9 elementary schools and 2,355 elementary school students, and 6 high schools and 1,984 high school students. 49.3% of 12th grade students were entitled to a matriculation certificate in 2001.
Kiryat Shmona is the smallest city in Israel with a top flight football club, Ironi Kiryat Shmona. Formed by a merger of Hapoel Kiryat Shmona and Maccabi Kiryat Shmona in 2000, the club won promotion to the top division for the first time at the end of the 2006-07 season.
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