Ashdod

From Academic Kids

Ashdod (Hebrew אַשְׁדּוֹד, Standard Hebrew Ašdod;, Tiberian Hebrew ʾAšdḏ, Arabic إسدود ʾIsdūd) is a port city in Israel located halfway between Tel Aviv and Gaza, in the Southern District of Israel. The ancient Greeks called it Azotos (in Latin, Azotus) after Alexander's conquest. However, the Azotos in Herodotus' Histories is Gaza (Gaza was called `Azoh or `Azot or sometimes perhaps `Azzat in ancient Hebrew and Egyptian records).

The modern city of Ashdod, established near the ruins of the Palestinian village of Isdud and the Philistine city in 1956, lies in a plain on an important road and rail axis and is located a short distance from Tel Aviv (35 Km), from Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva (70 Km). It sports the largest and most commercially-active seaport in Israel, after Haifa, and is a focal point of both national and international shipping. A significant engineering achievement, Ashdod Port is one of the few deep-water ports built on the open sea. The port currently handles about 15 million tons of cargo per year.

In the city jurisdiction there are over 60,000 dunams (60 km²) and land reserves for a total area of 74,000 dunams (74 km²). Ashdod's master plan divides the city into 17 residential quarters.

Most of the city inhabitants find their livelihood in the city and enjoy high standard municipal services. The mild climate and geographic location turn the city into one of the attractive cities in Israel, to the degree that many of the newcomers and citizens of various settlements request to make Ashdod their home. The population growth rate in Ashdod is the highest in Israel. The city which started with 22 families of newcomers currently has 196,000 inhabitants. Approximately 38% of its residents are newcomers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Ethiopia, France, Latin America and other countries, who have settled in the city during the 1990s.

In the last ten years, the city has developed and became the fifth largest city in Israel. With a growth rate of about 9,000 inhabitants per year, the city may number about 225,000 residents in 2005.

History

Ashdod was one of the five cities of the Philistines and the center of worship for the Canaanite god Dagon.

According to the Bible, when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites around 1050 BCE at Aphek, they brought it to Ashdod as a trophy for Dagon. But during the presence of the Ark great disasters hit Ashdod and the Ark was trasferred to Gath and later returned to the Israelites.

In the 10th century BCE, the city became, like the rest of the Philistine confederacy, tributary to David of Israel. The Philistines however, retained their independence and continued their hostilities against Judah and Israel in the following centuries. The hostilities ended when King Uzziah of Judah conquered the city in the 8th century BCE. In 711, Ashdod rose in rebellion against the Assyrians, supported by Judah, Moab, Edom and Egypt, but the rising was suppressed by the troops of Sargon II of Assyria and Ashdod became an Assyrian province.

The Philistines remained active in the region and, although not confirmed, most likely regained control over the city after the destruction of Judah in 587 BCE.

The city was conquered by the Macedonians under Alexander the Great in 331 BCE and became known as Azotos. It was under the Macedonian dynasty of Egypt, the Ptolemies, from 323 BCE till 199 BCE when the Seleucid Empire took control over Judea. During the Maccabeean Rebellion, Judas Maccabaeus destroyed the temple of Dagon.

It became part of the revived Jewish Hasmonean kingdom and a Roman city in the 1st century BCE.

The Palestinian village of Isdud was destroyed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and most of its residents became refugees. Immediately before the war, in 1945, it had numbered 4,620 Arabs and 290 Jews.

External links

he:אשדוד nl:Ashdod ru:Ашдод

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