The Krayot, which means townships, are a cluster of four small towns and one neighbourhood founded in the 1930s in the suburbs of Haifa, in Israel. Krayot is located in the Haifa bay area. The Krayot include Kiryat Ata, Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Haim, Kiryat Motzkim, and Kiryat Yam.
Early History of Kiryat Ata
Kiriat Ata, also known as Qiriat Ara, is a city belonging to the Haifa District of Israel. The history of Kiriat Ata starts in the Early Bronze Age. Their evidence comes from stratified archaeological remnants dating back to the Neolithic, including EB-early Bronze Age, IB and EB II periods. In the archaeological site of Tell el ‘Idham, there are remains relative to a continuous habitation dating back to the early Bronze Age, the Persian age and down to the Roman period. Some archaeologists believe that this site could be the Capharatha mentioned by Josephus, a first-century Romano-Jewish historian, in the Lower Galilee.
Moreover, in the Tell el ‘Idham site, Byzantine rock-hewn winepresses have been found. In some of these winepresses, there are incisions with Greek letters and crosses, believing that in this area, once there was a Byzantine monastery. Furthermore, Byzantine-era ceramics were discovered during the excavations in addition to a building dating back to the early Islamic period or the Byzantine era. This site was mentioned as a Crusaders’ territory under the name Kafrata in the hudna between the Crusaders and the Mamluk sultan Qalawun. In the Tell el ‘Idham site, there were also ceramics from the Mamluk era. An excavation at Independence Street in Kiryat Ata showed nearly continuous settlement dating from the Persian and Hellenistic periods until the Mamluk era, which started in the late eleventh–early fifteenth century CE.
The Ottoman period of Kiryat Ata
The town of Kufrata was part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and it was located in the Nahiya of Acca that was part of Safad Sanjak. The population consisted of all Muslim families living in 15 households. During Napoleon’s invasion of 1799, the village was named Koufour Tai on Pierre Jacotin’s map, and in 1856, the town was under the name of Kefr Ette on the map of Southern Palestine. In 1875, the village had 50 households, and in 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Survey of Western Palestine reported Kefr Etta as a small village with a well and olives. And in 1887, Kefr Etta had 285 residents who were all Muslims.
The British Mandate period of Kiryat Ata
In 1922, the census of Palestine led by the British Mandate government reported that the number of inhabitants of Kufritta was 400, of which 7 were Orthodox Christians and 393 Muslims. The Jewish community bought the area as part of the Sursock Purchase. In 1925, a Zionist organisation acquired 10 square km from Alexander Sursock. He was a member of the Sursock family from Beirut when in the town of Kufritta, there were 75 families as inhabitants. In 1931, the population of Kufritta consisted of 4 Muslims and 29 Jews, who were living in 13 houses. In 1934, one of the biggest textile plants was built in Kfar Atta, under the name of ATA. And in 1945, the population of Kfar Atta consisted of 1690 Jews living in an area of almost 6.2 square km, where different farmings such as citrus, bananas, plantations and cereals, besides urban areas.
The modern Kiryat Ata
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Warsaw religious foundation “Avodat Israel” purchased the Arab village of Kefr Etta and founded Ata in 1925. Still, during the Arab riots in 1929, the town was deserted. In 1930, the residents went back to the city of Kfar Ata, and in 1965, the town was merged with the close city of Kiryat Binyamin and named Kiryat Ata.
The weather of Kiryat Ata
Kiryat Ata is featured in Mediterranean weather with dry and hot summers and rainy and cold winters. The hottest month is July, and the coldest is February. Snowfall is rare, and the annual rainfall level is about 524 mm.
General information about Kiryat Ata
In 2001, 99.8% of the population of Kiryat Ata was Jewish with an equivalent number of females and males, and the population growth rate was about 0.8%. In 2000, the city counted 20 schools and almost 9000 students. The most notable landmarks of Kiryat Ata are the Fisher House, which was the house of Yehoshua Fisher, one of the Kfar Ata Jewish community leaders, and that now it is restored. This beautiful 19th-century building includes the Municipal Museum of the History of Kiryat Ata. As it is clear from the previous paragraph about the history of Kiryat Ata, the area is full of archaeological surveys at Khirbet Sharta that is in the northern district of the city, with traces of habitation dating back to the Bronze, Byzantine, Hellenistic, Iron, Mamluk and Roman periods.
Kiriat Bialik is a city belonging to the Haifa District in Israel, and it is one of the five Krayot suburbs located in the north of Haifa. The town was named in honour of Hayim Nahman Bialik.
History of Kiryat Bialik
In 1924, the two Romanian immigrants Ephraim and Sabina Katz were the first settlers to dwell in Zevulun Valley in Haifa Bay. In 1929, the Palestine riots destroyed their farm, and in 1959, the only house to survive was Beit Kats and was donated to Kiriat Bialik for public use. The town of Kiryat Bialik was created in 1934 at the hand of German Jewish immigrants after the Jewish National Fund granted them a portion of land. The first residents of Kiryat Bialik were mainly doctors, engineers, free professionals and lawyers living in their private houses with a garden. Unfortunately, Kiriat Bialik had been bombed during World War II because of its closeness to the Haifa oil refineries. In 1976, Kiryat Bialik became a city; in 1950, it was proclaimed a local council.
General information about Kiryat Bialik
In 2008, the recorded population of Kiryat Bialik was Jewish, with an almost equivalent number of females and males. Many Jewish immigrants coming from Argentina, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union settled in Kiryat Bialik. In 1934, the Ata textile factory was established by Erich Moller, and the town became well-known because the Ata plant became a symbol of the Israeli textile industry. However, in 1985 it closed down for financial problems. The city counts nine schools and more than 6 thousand students. In 2006, throughout the Second Lebanon War, Kiryat Bialik was bombed by 15 Katyusha multiple rockets and other sorts of missiles that the Hezbollah sent against the city.
Kiryat Haim is a neighbourhood of Haifa that is part of the Krayot in the northern area of the municipality of Haifa. Kiryat Haim is inside the municipal borders of Haifa, and it stands on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. In 1933, Kiryat Haim was founded and named in honour of Haim Arlosoroff, murdered. The kibbutz Kfar Masaryk was established in Petah Tikva in 1932 and moved to Bat Galim in 1933 and the dunes area of Kiryat Haim in the western region of the railway. In the kibbutz, there was a farm of vegetables and a dairy farm, and its new name was Mishmar Zevulun. Kiryat Haim is divided into two areas: Kiryat Haim East and Kiryat Haim West. Kiryat Haim West is positioned on the western side of the railway close to Kiryat Haim beach. Kiryat Haim East was built afterwards, and it is located on the eastern side of the railway. In the beginning, there were only a few single-family houses on the edge of the neighbourhood. During ten years, some of these buildings have been replaced by higher-density apartment buildings. The business core of the town is in Kiryat Haim East, where there are some shops, a supermarket and restaurants along the main street that is Achi Eilat Street. The Haifa Economic Corporation developed the Kiryat Haim Promenade, which was named in honour of the Israeli environment minister Yehudit Naot. Most part of the immigrants of Kiryat Haim is from the former Soviet Union who moved to Israel in the 1990s. Moreover, in the suburb, there is also a significant population of Ethiopian Israelis. Kiryat Haim is reachable through the Kiryat Haim Railway Station that is part of the main Coastal railway to Nahariya with southward trains to Modi’in and Beersheba. Moreover, there are three bus lines available going to Kiryat Haim: routes 13, 15 and 26. By night, bus 210 runs a route through the Krayot with stops in Kiryat Ata and Kiryat Bialik.
Kiryat Motzkin is a city in the Haifa District, eight kilometres north of Haifa. This city has been called in honour of Leo Motzkin, who was one of the First Zionist Congress organizers in 1897. In 1934, Kiryat Motzkin was established, in 1935, the first school opened, and in 1939 the town counted a population of around two thousand citizens and 345 buildings. Kiryat Motzkin railway station was constructed in 1937 during the British Mandate. During the Second World War, Kiryat Motzkin had been bombarded by both Germans and Italians. In 1940, the town acquired local council status. From 1947 to 1948, the Civil War occurred close to Kiryat Motzkin when the Haganah defeated the Arab armies contributing to the Jewish victory during the Battle of Haifa. Kiryat Motzkin has twelve schools and around six thousand students. Moreover, the town is served by Kiryat Motzkin Railway Station, which is part of the main Coastal railway line to Nahariya, with southward stops in Beersheba and Modi’in. The Krayot Central Bus Station is found on the northerly side of the city and works as a terminus for local bus routes and the Metronit bus rapid transit system.
Kiryat Yam is a city that is part of the Haifa Bay district of Israel and 12 km north of Haifa. It is one of the Haifa suburbs well-known as the Krayot, and it lies on the Mediterranean coast. Kiryat Yam is between Kiryat Haim and the Tzur Shalom industrial area in the eastern section of Kiryat Motzkin. The Jewish community purchased Kiryat Yam as part of the Sursock Purchase, in which a vast plot of land on the Haifa Bay was acquired by the Sursock family of Beirut in 1925. In 1928, the Bayside Land Corporation, a common enterprise of the Jewish National Fund and of the Palestine Economic Corporation, purchased 2.4 square kilometres of residential land. The development of a residential district started in 1939, and the first residences were finished in 1940. Kiryat Yam has a population of about 39 thousand inhabitants. The northern area of the city hosts several immigrants of Ethiopia, North Africa and the former Soviet Union, in which dozens of centres and houses have been built to support the immigrants’ settling. Kiryat Yam owns 26 schools with a student population of 10,000. Through the 2006 Lebanon War, Kiryat Yam was bombarded by Hezbollah rockets, suffering fatalities and property damages. In 2009, the Haifa district planning committee approved high-rise construction for the urban development of the old Gimmel neighbourhood.