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Dimona is a centre for Black Hebrews in Israel
Dimona City Hall


Dimona ( ) is an Israelimarker city in the Negevmarker desert, to the south of Beershebamarker and west of the Dead Seamarker above the Aravamarker valley in the Southern District of Israelmarker. Its population at the end of 2007 was 33,600.

Etymology

The city's name is derived from a biblical town, mentioned in Joshua 15:21-22.

History

Formation

The Municipality of Dimona was one of the development towns that were created in the 1950s with the leadership of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. Dimona itself was conceived in 1953, and settled in 1955, mostly by new immigrants from Northern Africa, who also constructed the city's houses. The emblem of Dimona (as a local council), adopted 2 March 1961, appeared on a stamp issued on 24 March 1965.

When the Israeli nuclear program started later that decade, a location not far from the city was chosen for the Negev Nuclear Research Centermarker due to its relative isolation in the desert and availability of housing.

Population

Dimona is home to Israel's Black Hebrew community, governed by its founder and spiritual leader, Ben Ammi Ben-Israel. The Black Hebrews number about 3000 in Dimona, with additional families in Aradmarker, Mitzpe Ramonmarker and the Tiberiasmarker area. Their official status in Israel was an ongoing issue for many years, but in May 1990, the issue was resolved with the issuing of first B/1 visas, and a year later, issuing of temporary residency. Status was extended to August 2003, when the Israeli Ministry of Interior granted permanent residency.

Economy

In the early 1980s, textile plants, such as Dimona Textiles Ltd., dominated the industrial landscape. Many plants have since closed. Dimona Silica Industries Ltd. manufactures precipitated silica and calcium carbonate fillers.

Transportation

In the early 1950s, an extension to Dimona and south was constructed from the Railway to Beersheba, designed for freight traffic. A passenger service began in 2005, after pressure from Dimona's municipality. Dimona Railway Stationmarker is located in the southwestern part of the city and the main bus terminal is the Dimona Central Bus Station, mainly serving lines to Beershebamarker and nearby towns.

Development

The Municipality of Dimona was one of the development towns that were created in the 1950s by the initiative of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. Dimona itself was conceived in 1953, and settled in 1955, mostly by new immigrants from Northern Africa, who also constructed the city's houses. The emblem of Dimona (as a local council), adopted 2 March 1961, appeared on a stamp issued on 24 March 1965.

Today

In spite of a gradual decrease during the 1980s, the city's population began to grow once again with the beginning of the Russian immigration in the 1990s. Currently, Dimona is the third largest city in the Negev, with the population of 33,900. About a third of the city's population works in industrial workplaces (chemical plants near the Dead Seamarker like the Dead Sea Works, high-tech companies and textile shops), and another third in the area of services. Due to the introduction of new technologies, many workers have been made redundant in the recent years, creating a total unemployment rate of about 10%. On 4 February 2008 an Israeli woman was killed and 38 others injured in the town by a Palestinian suicide bomber (see Dimona bombing).

Dimona has taken part of Israel's solar transformation. The Rotem Industrial Complex outside of the city has dozens of solar mirrors that focus the sun's rays on a tower that in turn heats a water boiler to create steam, turning a turbine to create electricity. Luz II, Ltd. plans to use the solar array to test new technology for the three new solar plants to be built in California for Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Famous Citizens



International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Dimona is twinned with:

Sources

  1. Calif. solar power test begins — in Israeli desert, Associated Press, June 12, 2008; accessed December 23, 2008.
  2. Israel site for California solar power test, Ari Rabinovitch, Reuters, June 11, 2008.
  3. [1]
  4. http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/team/squad/benayoun/


External links




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