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Development town ( , Ayarat Pitu'ah) is a term used to refer to the new settlements that were built in Israelmarker during the 1950s in order to expand the population of the country's peripheral areas and to ease development pressure on the country's crowded centre. The towns are the results of the Sharon plan - the master plan of Israel. The majority of such towns were built in the Galilee in the north of Israel, and in the northern Negevmarker desert in the south. In addition to the new towns, Jerusalemmarker was also given development town status in the 1960s.


The first development town was Beit Shemeshmarker, founded in 1950 around 20km from Jerusalem. They were mostly populated by new immigrants from Arab countries such as Moroccomarker, Iraqmarker, Iranmarker, Egyptmarker, Libyamarker, Yemenmarker, and Tunisiamarker, and many gained a new influx of residents during the mass immigration from former Soviet states in the early 1990s. A high proportion of the population is religious or traditional, with a 2003 survey showing that 39% of residents would rather Israel be run more by halakhic law.

Despite businesses and industries being eligible for favorable tax treatment and other subsidies, with the exception of Arad, most of the towns (particularly those in the south) have fared poorly in the economic sense, and often feature amongst the poorest Jewish Areas in Israel.

In 1984, the Development Towns project was awarded the Israel Prize for its special contribution to society and the State of Israel.

List of development towns




See also


  1. Teddy Kollek and his life-long dedication Jerusalem Post, 2 January 2007
  2. Israel's battered economy BBC News, 21 June 2002
  3. We're not Kach , but we love Kahane Haaretz
  4. Full On Location: The deep south Jerusalem Post, 27 December 2007

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