|• ISO 259||Qiryat Gat|
|• Mayor||Aviram Dahari|
|• Total||17,102 dunams (17.102 km2 or 6.603 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,600/km2 (9,400/sq mi)|
Kiryat Gat, also spelled Qiryat Gat (Hebrew: קִרְיַת גַּת), is a city in the Southern District of Israel. It lies 56 km (35 miles) south of Tel Aviv, 43 km (27 mi) north of Beersheba, 45 km (28 mi) and 68 km (42 mi) from Jerusalem. In 2019 it had a population of 57,105. The city hosts one of the most advanced semiconductor fabrication plants in the world, Intel's Fab 28 plant producing 7 nm process chips and the currently under construction Fab 38 planned to open in 2024 and to produce 5 nm process using EUV lithography.
Kiryat Gat is named for Gath, one of the five major cities of the Philistines. In Hebrew, "gat" means "winepress". In the 1950s, archaeologists found ruins at a nearby tell (Tel Erani) which were mistaken for the Philistine city of Gath. The location most favored for Gath now is Tel es-Safi, thirteen kilometers (8.1 miles) to the northeast.
Kiryat Gat was founded in 1954, initially as a ma'abara. The following year it was established as a development town by 18 families from Morocco. It was founded just west of the ruins of the Palestinian Arab village of Iraq al-Manshiyya, which was depopulated in 1949 after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The former location of Iraq al-Manshiyya is now within the built-up area of Kiryat Gat. By 1992, Kiryat Gat had grown and spread also onto the land that formerly belonged to the village of Al-Faluja.
The population of Kiryat Gat rose from 4,400 inhabitants in 1958 to 17,000 in 1969, mostly Jewish immigrants from North Africa. The economy was initially based on processing the agricultural produce of the Lachish region, such as cotton and wool. In December 1972, Kiryat Gat's municipal status was upgraded and it became Israel's 31st city.
During the 1990s, the mass immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel brought many new residents to the town and its population grew to 42,500 by 1995. The development of the Rabin industrial zone on the eastern edge of the city, and the opening of Highway 6 further improved the economy of the city.
In 2012, the ethnic makeup of the city was 93.8 percent Jewish. In its early years, Kiryat Gat was populated mainly by Jews of Sephardi/Mizrahi origin. Since the mass immigration of Soviet Jews, approximately one third of the inhabitants hail from the former Soviet Union.
The Polgat textile factory was the main employer in the town until it closed in the 1990s. In 1999, Intel opened a chip fabrication plant, known as Fab 18, to produce Pentium 4 chips and flash memories. Intel received a grant of $525 million from the Israeli government to build the plant. In February 2006, the cornerstone was laid for Intel's second Kiryat Gat plant, Fab 28. Despite this, Kiryat Gat has one of Israel's highest unemployment rates. In 2021, Intel announced a $10 billion investment in new manufacturing in Kiryat Gat.
The headquarters and small-arms (guns) manufacturing facility of Israeli Weapons Industries is now located in Kiryat Gat.
Kiryat Gat is served by the Kiryat Gat Railway Station on the Tel Aviv - Be'er Sheva inter-city line of Israel Railways. Kiryat Gat is situated between two major highways, Highway 40 to the west of the town and Highway 6.
Schools and education
Kiryat Gat has 25 schools with an enrollment of 10,676. Of these schools, 18 are elementary schools with a student population of 5,498, and 13 are high schools with a student population of 5,178. In 2001, 54.7% of Kiryat Gat's 12th grade students graduated with a matriculation certificate. Kiryat Gat has a Pedagogic Center, science centers, a computerized library and a center devoted to industry, art and technology. In 2012, a high school student from Kiryat Gat won first prize in the First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics competition.
Twin towns — sister cities
Kiryat Gat is twinned with:
- Tali Fahima (born 1976), pro-Palestinian activist
- Adi Nes (born 1966), photographer
- Miri Regev (born 1965), politician and a former Brigadier General. She is a member of the Cabinet as the Minister of Culture and Sport from 2015–2020 and the Minister of Transportation since 2020
- Ninet Tayeb (born 1983), singer and actress
- "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
- Horton Harris (2011). "The location of Ziklag: a review of the candidate sites, based on Biblical, topographical and archaeological evidence". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 143 (2): 119–133. doi:10.1179/003103211x12971861556954. S2CID 162186999.
- "Partnership 2000, Kiryat Gat". Jewish United Fund. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. p. 108. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Sheet Hebron of 100,000 topological map series, Survey of Israel, 1956.
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 97
- Ed. Cecil Roth, ed. (1997). "Kiryat Gat". Encyclopaedia Judaica (CD-ROM Edition Version 1.0). Keter Publishing House. ISBN 965-07-0665-8.
- "Kiryat Gat- Municipality Profile" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
- "Local Authorities in Israel 2012, Publication No. 1573. Kiryat Gat" הרשויות המקומיות בישראל 2012, פרסום מס' 1573. קריית גת (PDF) (in Hebrew). הלשכה המרכזית לסטטיסטיקה Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- Rosenthal, Donna (2003). The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land. New York: Free Press. pp. 124–126. ISBN 0-684-86973-X.
- Gazzar, Brenda (2006-01-05). "Intel's Inside". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Intel to Invest $10B in New Israeli Manufacturing Site". The Media Line. 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
- Etsion, Udi (2019-09-05). "Scoot Over, Uzi, There's a new Gun in Town". CTECH - www.calcalistech.com. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
- Kiryat Gat teen wins first prize in international physics competition, Haaretz
- "Buffalo, New York & Kiryat Gat, Israel". Sister Cities International. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- "Градови побратими". Град Крушевац. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- "All Governments of Israel". main.knesset.gov.il. The Knesset. n.d. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- "Knesset Member, Miri Regev". knesset.gov.il. The Knesset. n.d. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Official website (in Hebrew)