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  • כַּרְמִיאֵל
  • كَرْمِيئِيل
Hebrew transcription(s)
   ISO 259 Karmiˀel
  Also spelledCarmiel (unofficial)
Karmiel - Israel 2008.jpg
Flag of Karmiel.svg
Karmiel COA.svg
Coat of arms
Israel outline northwest.png
Red pog.svg
Israel location map with stripes.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 32°54′49.38″N35°17′45.92″E / 32.9137167°N 35.2960889°E / 32.9137167; 35.2960889 Coordinates: 32°54′49.38″N35°17′45.92″E / 32.9137167°N 35.2960889°E / 32.9137167; 35.2960889
CountryFlag of Israel.svg  Israel
District Northern
  Type City (from 1986)
  MayorMoshe Kuninski
  Total19,188  dunams (19.188 km2 or 7.409 sq mi)
 (2017) [1]
  Density2,400/km2 (6,200/sq mi)
Name meaningGod's vineyards
Website https://www.karmiel.muni.il/

Karmiel (Hebrew : כַּרְמִיאֵל, lit. "God's vineyards") is a city in northern Israel. Established in 1964 as a development town, Karmiel is located in the Beit HaKerem Valley which divides upper and lower Galilee. The city is located south of the Acre-Safed road, 32 kilometres (20 miles) from Safed and 20 km (12 miles) from Ma'alot-Tarshiha and 20 km (12 mi) from Acre. In 2017 Karmiel had a population of 45,919. [1]

Hebrew language Semitic language native to Israel

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.

Vineyard Plantation of grape-bearing vines

A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science, practice and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture.

Northern District (Israel) District of Israel

The Northern District is one of Israel's six administrative districts. The Northern District has a land area of 4,478 km², which increases to 4,638 km² when both land and water are included. The district capital is Nazareth Illit and the largest city is Nazareth.



The first housing units under construction, 1964 Carmiel first housing units 1964.jpg
The first housing units under construction, 1964
Galil Quarter Karmiel view from the Family park.JPG
Galil Quarter

In 1956, about 1,275 acres (5.16 km2) of land in the area that is now Karmiel, owned by residents of the nearby Israeli Arab villages of Deir al-Asad, Bi'ina and Nahf, were declared "closed areas" by Israeli authorities.[ citation needed ] This area, near the main road between Acre and Safed, had been an important marble quarrying site. In 1961, the Israeli authorities expropriated the land to build Karmiel. The villagers offered "equally good land" in the area, but when Moshe Sneh (Maki) and Yusef Khamis (Mapam) brought the case to the Knesset on behalf of the villagers, the Knesset established that there was no such land. [2] According to the Haredi newspaper She'arim, about 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi) (394 lots) were confiscated by a court order on 4 March 1963, at the request of the Israel Development Authority.[ citation needed ] However, the land was rocky, uninhabited and unfit for agriculture. [3] In 1964, when local Arabs applied for permission to move into the town, Minister of Housing Yosef Almogi replied that "Karmiel was not built to solve the problems for the people in the surrounding area." [4] In February 1965, 400 protesters marched from Tel Aviv to protest against "discrimination of a group of our citizens". Representatives went to a local police station, informing the police that they were staying in the area without permission. Eventually, the perceived leaders were arrested and tried before a military tribunal. [5]

Deir al-Asad Place in Israel

Deir al-Asad is an Arab town in the Galilee region of Israel, near Karmiel. In 2003, the municipality of Deir al-Asad merged with Majd al-Krum and Bi'ina to form the city of Shaghur. However, it was reinstated in 2008 after Shaghur was dissolved. In 2017 it had a population of 12,106.

Biina Place in Israel

Bi'ina or al-Bi'na is an Arab town in the Northern District of Israel. It is located east of Akko. In 2003, Bi'ina merged with Majd al-Krum and Deir al-Asad to form the city of Shaghur, but was reinstated as a local council in 2008 after Shaghur was dissolved. Bi'ina has a mostly Muslim population (92%) with a small Christian minority (8%); in 2017 its population was 8,110.

Nahf Place in Israel

Nahf is an Arab town in the Northern District of Israel. It is located in between the lower and upper Galilee, about 23 kilometres (14 mi) east of Acre. In 2017 it had a population of 12,629. Archaeologists believe that the area was an important center for viticulture in the Hellenistic period and possibly the Early Bronze Age IB period.

Karmiel was one of the first cities in Israel to be established according to an urban master plan. [6] It was built as part of the Central Galilee Development Project. Work began in 1963, and the official inauguration ceremony took place in October 1964. [7] The first 16 families moved in at that time. A tender for the construction of Karmiel's main roads was issued in 1963, and Mekorot built a water pipe network connecting Karmiel, Rameh, Sha'ab and other nearby villages. [8] In 1972, Karmiel was granted development town status, which bolstered its growth due to government-provided economic incentives to attract young couples.


Mekorot is the national water company of Israel and the country's top agency for water management. Founded in 1937, it supplies Israel with 90% of its drinking water and operates a cross-country water supply network known as the National Water Carrier. Mekorot and its subsidiaries have partnered with numerous countries around the world in areas including desalination and water management.

Rameh Place in Israel

Rameh is an Arab town in the Northern District of Israel. Located east of Nahef and Karmiel, in 2017 it had a population of 7,580.

Shaab, Israel Place in Israel

Sha'ab is an Arab town and local council in the Northern District of Israel. It has an area of 5,442 dunams of land under its jurisdiction. In 2017 its population was 6,800.

In 1981, Karmiel was awarded the Beautiful Israel prize and the Kaplan Prize for Management and Services. Karmiel achieved city status on November 20, 1986. The first mayor was Baruch Venger, followed by Adi Eldar, who has remained in this position until today. Some 18,000 new immigrants settled in Karmiel between 1990 and 2002. [9] In the 2000s, some SLA families were resettled in Karmiel following the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon.

South Lebanon Army

The South Lebanon Army or South Lebanese Army (SLA), also known as Lahad Army and De Facto Forces (DFF), was a Lebanese militia, dominated by Christians, during the Lebanese Civil War and its aftermath, until it was disbanded in the year 2000. It was originally named the Free Lebanon Army, which split from the Army of Free Lebanon. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon. It was supported by Israel, and became its primary ally in Lebanon during the 1985–2000 South Lebanon conflict to fight against Hezbollah. The United Nations did not want to give them the status of a proper army so they were referred to by the UN as the De Facto Forces.

During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah fired 180 Katyusha rockets into Karmiel and the neighboring villages, leading to casualties and damage to buildings, roads, and cars. [10]

Hezbollah Shia Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon

Hezbollah —also transliterated Hizbullah, Hizballah, etc.—is a Shi'a Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon. Hezbollah's paramilitary wing is the Jihad Council, and its political wing is Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc party in the Lebanese parliament. Since the death of Abbas al-Musawi in 1992, the group has been headed by Hassan Nasrallah, its Secretary-General. The group, along with its military wing is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, Canada, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council,, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and the European Union.

Katyusha rocket launcher Family of rocket artillery systems

The Katyusha multiple rocket launcher is a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Multiple rocket launchers such as these deliver explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive, easy to produce, and usable on any chassis. The Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union, were usually mounted on ordinary trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha, and other self-propelled artillery, another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.

In the 2010s, Israeli-Arab families began moving to Karmiel to improve their quality of life.


View of Karmiel Karmiel view from hills.jpg
View of Karmiel

Karmiel is located on the Acre–Safed road, on the northern edge of the Lower Galilee. It lies in Emek Beit HaKerem and its elevation is 330 m (1,082.68 ft). [11] The Hilazon Stream passes slightly to the south of Karmiel. [11] Its tributaries, the Shezor and Shagor Streams pass through Karmiel on the east and north, respectively. [12] Karmiel sits on the Shagor mountain range, which stretches from Mount Hazon in the east (584 m (1,916.01 ft), next to Maghar) to Mount Gilon in the west (367 m (1,204.07 ft), at Gilon). [13] Western Karmiel was built on the Karmi (362 m) and Makosh (315 m) mountains. [14] Work on a new railway line linking Haifa and Karmiel began in 2011.

Highway 85 (Israel) road in Israel

Highway 85 is an east-west highway in Northern Israel. It is one of the most important roads through the Galilee, connecting the western Galilee with the Eastern Galilee. The road begins in Akko on the west coast of Israel and ends in the east just north of Lake Kinneret.

Lower Galilee Region within the Northern District of Israel

The Lower Galilee, is a region within the Northern District of Israel. The Lower Galilee is bordered by the Jezreel Valley to the south; the Upper Galilee to the north, from which it is separated by the Beit HaKerem Valley; the Jordan Rift Valley with the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee to the east; and to the west, a segment of the Northern Coastal Plain known as the Zebulon (Zvulun) Valley, stretching between the Carmel ridge and Acre. The Lower Galilee is the southern part of the Galilee. In Josephus' time, it was known to stretch in breadth from Xaloth (Iksal) to Bersabe, a region that contains around 470 square miles. It is called "Lower" since it is less mountainous than the Upper Galilee. The peaks of the Lower Galilee rise to 500 meters above sea level. The tallest peaks are Mount Kamon at the northern part of the Lower Galilee and Mount Tabor in the southern part.

Maghar, Israel Place in Israel

Maghar is an Druze-majority town in Israel's Northern District with an area of 19,810 dunams. Maghar was given the status of a local council in 1956. In 2017 it had a population of 22,261.


Ramat Rabin neighborhood Karmiel Ramat-Rabin district September 2006.jpg
Ramat Rabin neighborhood

As of 2007, the city encompasses an area of about 24,000 dunams (24 km²) with a population of about 50,000 residents approximately 40% of whom are immigrants from 75 countries. The city also receives significant internal migration of Haredi families. Since 1990, 16,000 immigrants have arrived in Karmiel, the majority of whom are from the Former Soviet Union. According to the national master plan, by 2020 Karmiel will have a population of approximately 120,000 residents. Since 1980, six new neighborhoods have been developed and populated, and a technical college has been serving the community since 1989. As of 2016, work is underway to create a further neighborhood on Mount Karmi on Karmiel's western fringe.

Local government

Karmiel city hall Karmiel city hall.jpg
Karmiel city hall

Adam Tal was the first official head of the group that founded Karmiel in 1964. Avraham Argov replaced him and was himself replaced in 1968 by Baruch Venger, who headed the municipality of Karmiel until his death in office on November 22, 1988. [15] His successor was Adi Eldar, who was re-elected several times. [9] In November 2018, Moshe Kuninsky was elected mayor of Karmiel.


Today there are four high schools, four junior high schools, a vocational training center, nine state-run elementary schools, one state-run religious school (including high school), an independent education elementary school, a school for gifted children and an educational farm, many kindergartens, nursery schools and daycare centers, as well as a network of community youth and sports centers and the international ORT Braude College of Engineering with a student body of 3,500 studying computers, electronics, industrial administration, biotechnology and other subjects. A biotechnology research and development center will also open at the college. [16]

Health care

In 2011, a Terem emergency care clinic was opened in Karmiel. The clinic is under the medical management of Dr. Walid Assadi and is open seven days a week, including Sabbath and holidays. [17] Israel's four national health funds all maintain clinics in the city. In addition, Karmiel has dental clinics, eye clinics, and private clinics. [18]


Main street of Karmiel KKL street-KAR.jpg
Main street of Karmiel

The city is known for the Karmiel Dance Festival, a yearly event since 1988. The festival is usually held for 3 days and nights in July, and includes dance performances, workshops, and open dance sessions. [19] The festival began as a celebration of Israeli folk dance, but today it features many different dance forms from all around the globe, and attracts thousands of dancers and hundreds of thousands of spectators from many countries. [20]

"Nitzotz-Machanayim" is a community center which caters to the Russian-speaking population of Karmiel. It is one of a number of similar centers in Israel which operate in the framework of the Machanayim "Communities" project. Rabbi Eli Talberg is the director of Natzotz-Machanyim, which is located on the first floor of "Kikar Ha’Ir" (often called "The Old Mall"). Activities include a Beit-Midrash, conversion classes, Hebrew classes, a youth club, a women’s club, and additional workshops and activities for all ages. The community also organizes regular educational tours throughout Israel and participates in sporting and social events with other branches of the Communities project. [21]

Environmental protection

Karmiel was the first Israeli city to receive ISO 9002 certification for the quality of its services. It is one of the few Israeli cities with ISO 1410 certification for environmental standards. Karmiel has enacted by-laws to protect the environment and prevent pollution, and become a center for clean industries and advanced technology enterprises that abide by these standards. [22]

Parks and gardens

View from Park Galil Park Galil.jpg
View from Park Galil

The Holocaust Memorial Park is located at the entrance to the city. The bronze sculptures were made by Jewish sculptor and artist Nicky Imber (1920-1996). The sculptures are separated into three groups: Holocaust, wondering and hope; which represent the story of the Jewish people from the time of the Holocaust to the return to the holy land. [23]

The Karmiel Quarries Park is a 12.4-acre park developed on the site of a defunct limestone quarry. One section of the park is a sculpture garden. An amphitheater on the grounds of the park hosts local events and incorporates a drainage system that collects rainfall which is later used for watering greenery. [24]

Twin towns

Notable residents

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The Railway to Karmiel is a railway linking Haifa and Karmiel in northern Israel. It opened in 2017 and consists of a double track standard gauge railway stretching for 23 km from near Acre (Akko) to Karmiel. It branches eastwards from the Coastal Railway between the Kiryat Motzkin Railway Station and the Acre Railway Station and includes a 5 km long tunnel in the mountainous region near the eastern end of the line. Most of the route is in the vicinity of Highway 85. There are two stations on the railway: Ahidud and Karmiel.


  1. 1 2 "Localities File" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  2. Knesset debate, 31 Jan. 1962, page 1126-30, cited in Jiryis
  3. "Removal Order for 10,000 Dunams Required to Construct Karmiel Given" (in Hebrew). She'arim. 5 March 1963.
  4. Knesset debate, 2 Dec. 1964, page 486, cited in Jiryis
  5. Maariv, 14 Feb., 1965, cited in Jiryis
  6. "Karmiel". Jewish Agency for Israel. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  7. Encyclopedia Judaica, Keter Publishing, Jerusalem, 1978, Vol. 10, p. 799
  8. "Planning of Karmiel Completed". Haaretz. 6 February 1963.
  9. 1 2 "The History of Karmiel". Karmiel Municipality. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  10. "The Second Lebanon War (2006)". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2008-07-12. Archived from the original on 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  11. 1 2 Vilnai, Ze'ev (1976). "Karmiel". Ariel Encyclopedia (in Hebrew). Volume 4. Tel Aviv, Israel: Am Oved. pp. 3877–79.
  12. Gold Atlas (Map) (2009 ed.). 1:100,000 (in Hebrew). Mapa. p. 11. § Zayin6. ISBN   978-965-521-082-8.
  13. Karmiel Municipality (1976). Karmiel — From One Decade to the Next. Ramat Gan, Israel: Peli Publishers. pp. 11–15.
  14. Topographical Maps of Israel (Map) (in Hebrew). Amud Anan. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
  15. Animated map of Karmiel [ dead link ]
  16. "Karmiel Travel Guide". World66. Archived from the original on 2011-08-24. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  17. New Terem clinic in Karmiel Archived 2013-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  18. https://www.karmiel.muni.il/English/About-Karmiel/Pages/default.aspx
  19. "Assie Duo Dances for Peace in Karmiel". Australian Jewish News. 2008-08-04. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  20. "Karmiel Dance Festival" . Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  21. "Nitzotz-Machanayim community".
  22. "Karmiel Electronic Company Ltd". Karmiel Economic Company. Archived from the original on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  23. Holocaust Memorial Park Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  24. Abandoned quarries being transformed into parks
  25. "New sister city". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 23, 2006. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  26. "Karmiel, Israel — Overview". Denver Sister Cities International. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  27. "A Hungarian town that faces up to Nazi era". New York Times. December 14, 2005. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  28. "Metz en visite à Karmiel". City of Metz. August 17, 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-06-10. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  29. "Må styrke Hamars internasjonale vennskap". hamar-dagblad.no. August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012.