Ariel (city)

Ariel (city)

Infobox Israel municipality

meaning=Lion of God
mayor=Ron Nachman
The city of Ariel ( _he. אֲרִיאֵל; _ar. اريئيل) is an Israeli settlement on the West Bank, in the Biblical region of Samaria near the ancient village of Timnat Serah. Established in 1978, its population at the end of 2007 was 16,600,Cite web|url=|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=2008-10-03] including 7,000 immigrants, who came to Israel after 1990. [PDFlink| [ Population and Density per sq. km in Localities Numbering above 5,000 inhabitants] |146 KiB on December 31, 2003] It is the fifth largest Israeli community in the territories that Israel captured from Jordan of as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967. The Israeli Ministry of the Interior gave the municipality of Ariel the status of a city council in 1998.

In Hebrew, Ariel (pronounced Ari'el), literally means 'Lion of God'. "Ari" (Lion) in Hebrew is also a synonym for bravery and courage and it is also the symbol of the tribe of Judah. Ariel in the Hebrew Bible is one of the names for Jerusalem and the Temple of Jerusalem (Isaiah 29:1-8).


At the beginning of 1978, a group of secular Israelis formed in order find a location in the hills of Samaria to create a new residential area. The leader of this group, Ron Nachman, chose the spot because of its strategic location on a possible Jordanian invasion route towards Israel's main population centre of Tel Aviv. In the spring of 1978, some of the group's men erected tents on the chosen hilltop, and in August 1978, a total of forty families came to live.

The original members of the group had gone through a screening process in order to put together a proper quality mix of skilled adults as well as young families that would be prepared psychologically to withstand starting a new settlement from scratch with little infrastructure and modern comforts. There were no paved roads or paths. Water was supplied periodically by a tanker truck. Electricity was provided by a generator since no electrical network existed in that area. Tents were replaced by prefabricated concrete blocks which served as living quarters, schools, and an infirmary. On September 1, 1978 the school year was officially opened.

As the community grew, a more heterogeneous mix of people joined the group including traditional Jews, as well as Orthodox Jews, though the city has kept its predominantly secular nature. Nonetheless, the city now includes fourteen synagogues of various ethnic divisions of Orthodox Judaism.

The city has several shopping centres, two different industrial zones (divided into light and heavy industry), a library, and sports clubs.

Israel approved the construction of 27 new factories in Ariel, which should be complete in September of 2009. []


Ariel is situated approximately convert|40|km|mi east of Tel Aviv, convert|40|km|mi west of the Jordan River, and convert|60|km|mi northwest of Jerusalem. It lies southwest of Nablus/Shechem, north of Ramallah and southeast of Qalqilyah. The city is connected to the Tel Aviv area by the Trans-Samaria Highway and Road 505, and to Jerusalem by Highway 60.

Ariel's jurisdiction spans convert|14677|dunam|km2 sqmi|lk=in,Cite web|url=|title=Local Authorities in Israel 2005, Publication #1295 - Municipality Profiles - Ariel|publisher=Israel Central Bureau of Statistics|year=2005|accessdate=2008-10-03 he icon] and borders the Palestinian towns and villages Salfit, Marda and Iskaka.


Ariel is home to the Ariel University Center of Samaria, founded in 1982. Current enrollment is 9,500 students, consisting of both Jewish and Arab students. In 2005, the Israeli government voted to support upgrading the College to university status. The change of status was not immediate since the decision only allowed the college to apply for revision by the Council for Higher Education in Israel which must ultimately approve any change. University status is an issue of prestige, increased government funding, as well as the ability to open post-graduate studies (which are already offered at the college) and issue doctorate degrees. Formerly called the 'Academic College of Judea and Samaria', it changed its name in August 2007 in the interim period and anticipation of achieving the more prestigious 'university' status.

Other accomplishments

Under the leadership of Ron Nachman, Ariel has helped nearby Palestinian villages with basic human needs. They have helped create infrastructure in nearby Palestinian villages which allow for running water and electricity. Mayor Nachman has said that the city of Ariel has great relations with its nearby neighbors.Fact|date=September 2008

Twin cities

*flagicon|Costa Rica Heredia, Costa RicaCite news|title=Gemini Sign|author=Hodorov, Irit|publisher=Yedioth Ahronoth|work=Yediot Petah Tikva|date=2008-09-26]
*flagicon|United States Mobile, Alabama, United States


External links

* [ Ariel] home page
* [ College of Judea & Samaria] home page

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