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The Israeli Coastal Plain ( , Mishor HaHof) is the narrow coastal plain along Israel's Mediterranean Seamarker coast which houses 70% of the country's population. The plain extends north to south and is divided into a number of areas; the Plain of Zebulun (north of Haifamarker), Hof HaCarmelmarker (from Haifamarker to Mount Carmelmarker), the Sharon plainmarker (from Mount Carmelmarker to Tel Avivmarker), and the Plain of Judea (from Tel Aviv to Zikimmarker). For its duration, the plain has sandy beaches and a Mediterranean climate.

Physical geography

The area was historically fertile in Biblical times, some of it being continually farmed ever since, although much turned over time into swampland, having to be converted back by Zionist pioneers. Today, the area is the center of the country's citrus farms, and contains some of the country's most successful agricultural settlements. The plain has soils made of two sorts of thick river deposits; one dark and heavy - ideal for growing field crops, and the other thin and sandy - ideal for growing citrus fruits.

Despite its length, the plain is only crossed by two significant rivers; the Yarkon, which is long flowing from the Petah Tikvamarker area into the Mediterranean, and the Kishonmarker which is long, flowing into the Gulf of Acre north of Haifamarker.

Human geography

About 70% of Israel's population lives in the coastal plain, much of them in the Tel Aviv metropolitan areamarker (Gush Dan) and Haifa Baymarker metropolitan area. It is the most predominantly Jewish part of the country, as Jews and other non-Arabs make up over 96% of the population in this region, (about 4.5 million Israeli Jews live in this region, 72% of the nations, and about a third of the world's Jewish population.

The Israeli Coastal Plain has been populated for thousands of years, with references to it in Biblical literature. Recent research however, has concluded that the Coastal Plain was inhabited 5,500 years ago during the Bronze Age. It is thought that at this time, shifting settlement patterns in the land were caused by climate change which led to flooding of the area which had been a populated commercial and settlement center, and the creation of many swamps. Settlements are thought to have been spread across the plain, from Gaza up to the Galilee, with the land being an important trade route for the Egyptians.

Regions

Tel Aviv's coastline is highly urbanised


The coastal plain includes the following geographical regions (from north to south):

Western Galilee

The Western Galilee (also known as North coast or Plain of Zebulun) region of the Coastal Plain stretches from Rosh HaNikramarker in the far North, down to Israel's third-largest city, Haifamarker. It is a fertile region containing the city of Nahariyamarker and many moshavim and kibbutzim. The coast here has many small islands off of it. Often regarded as a separate region is the Acre coastal plain, which is crowded with urban areas including Acre and the northern Krayot suburbs of Haifamarker as well as more agricultural areas.

Hof HaCarmel

The Hof HaCarmelmarker (Carmel) region covers the area from Haifamarker down to the town of Zikhron Ya'aqovmarker, the coast nearby Mount Carmelmarker. The soil of the Hof HaCarmel plain is rich and apart from the main city of Haifamarker in the north, most settlement here is made up of farming communities.

Sharon Plain

The Sharon plainmarker is the next stage down the Coastal Plain, running from Zikhron Ya'aqovmarker to Tel Avivmarker's Yarkon River. This area is Israel's most densely populated, containing a number of large towns and cities including Netanyamarker and Herzliyamarker as well as smaller communities inland.

Central Coastal Plain

Running from Northern Tel Aviv's Yarkon River to Nakhal Shikma, the Central Coastal Plain contains cities such as Bat Yammarker and Rishon LeZionmarker, and agricultural communities.

Southern Coastal Plain

Also known as the Shephelah, Plain of Judeamarker, and Western Negevmarker, the Southern Coastal Plain extends south to the Gaza Stripmarker and is divided into two:
  • the Besormarker region, a savanna-type area with a relatively large number of communities, in the north
  • the Agur-Halutsa region in the south which is very sparsely populated.


References


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