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Hebrew transcription(s)
 • unofficial Atlith
Atlit fortress
Atlit fortress
Atlit is located in Haifa region of Israel
Coordinates: 32°41′14″N 34°56′18″E / 32.68722°N 34.93833°E / 32.68722; 34.93833Coordinates: 32°41′14″N 34°56′18″E / 32.68722°N 34.93833°E / 32.68722; 34.93833
Grid position formerly 144/234, now 144/232 PAL
District Haifa
Council Hof HaCarmel
Founded 6900 BCE (Atlit Yam)
1296 (Tatar village)
1903 (Jewish village)
1948 (Israeli town)
Population (2016)[1] 6,994

Atlit (Hebrew: עַתְלִית‬) is a coastal town located south of Haifa, Israel. The community is in the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council in the Haifa District of Israel. The Jewish village was founded in 1903 under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. In the past, from 1950 until the unification of the municipalities in 2003, Atlit was a local council whose jurisdiction was 14,000 dunams. In 2016 the population was 6,994.[1]

The Atlit detainee camp is nearby, which was used by the British to intern Jewish refugees and is now a museum.[2]

Off the coast of Atlit is a submerged Neolithic village. Atlit was also a Crusader outpost, which fell in 1291.



Atlit Yam is an ancient submerged Neolithic village off the coast of Atlit, Israel. Atlit-Yam provides the earliest known evidence for an agro-pastoral-marine subsistence system on the Levantine coast.[3]

Bronze Age[edit]

Atlit shows evidence of human habitation since the early Bronze Age.

Crusader period[edit]

The Crusaders built Chateau Pelerin, one of the largest citadels in the Holy Land, and one of the last remaining Crusader outposts to withstand the assaults of Baibars (see also: Fall of Ruad).[citation needed] Atlit remained in Crusader hands until 1291. The ruins of the citadel are still visible in modern times.

Mamluk period[edit]

Subdistrict Haifa
Palestine grid 144/233
Date of depopulation Not known[4]

In 1296, during Mamluk rule, Atlit and its surrounding area was settled by members of the Tatar 'Uwayrat tribe.[citation needed]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1596, during Ottoman rule which began in 1517, Atlit was recorded as a farm that paid taxes to the government.[5]

During the rule of Acre governor Sulayman Pasha al-Adil, Atlit was the headquarters of local strongman Mas'ud al-Madi, who was appointed the mutasallim (tax collector/enforcer) of the Atlit coast, which consisted of the territory that stretched from Umm Khalid to Haifa.[6][7]

In 1799, it appeared as the village Atlit on the map that Pierre Jacotin compiled that year.[8]

In 1859, the population was stated to be "180 souls", and their tillage 13 feddans, according to the English consul Rogers.[9]

An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that Atlit had 9 houses and a population of 33, though the population count included men only.[10][11] In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine noted the existence of a small Arab village.[9] A population list from about 1887 showed that Athlit had about 180 inhabitants; all Muslims.[12]

In 1903, Jewish settlers built a nearby village which they also called Atlit;[13] The village was established by Edmond James de Rothschild, with most of the land bought from Arab fishermen.[14] Aaron Aaronsohn established an agricultural station in Atlit in 1911, and during World War I the village was used as a base by the Nili organisation.[14]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, during the British Mandate of Palestine period, Athlit had a population of 81; all Muslims, while Athlit Colony had a population of 78 Jews and 3 Muslims. Athlit Salt works had a population of 196 Jews, 1 Muslim and 1 Christian.[15] This had increased in the 1931 census to 413 Muslim, 496 Jews and 39 Christians; in a total of 193 houses.[16]

In 1938 there were 508 Arabs and 224 Jews.[citation needed] The Arab presence underwent a sharp decline in the 1940s due to land sales, so that by 1944/5 there were only 150 Arabs still living there (90 Muslims and 60 Christians) alongside 510 Jews.[17][18]

State of Israel[edit]

The circumstances under which the remaining Arabs left in 1948 are unknown.[4][19] Atlit detainee camp was used by the British authorities to detain Jewish immigrants to Palestine.[20] It is now a museum of the Ha'apala (illegal Jewish immigration 1934-48). The headquarters of Shayetet 13 marine commandos is located at Atlit naval base on the Atlit promontory, placing the Crusader ruins there off-limits for regular visitors.

Atlit was declared a local council in 1950, but in 2004 was incorporated in the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council as one of a handful of Regional Committees. The late Knesset member Pesah Grupper lived in Atlit. He was head of its local council in the years 1959–1962 and 1969–1971.

Atlit. Immigrant detention camp beyond broadcasting station.


Neighborhoods in Atlit are Neve Moshe, Yamit, Giv'at HaPrahim, Giv'at HaBrekhot, Giv'at Sharon, Shoshanat HaYam, HaGoren, Yafe Nof, Argaman, Hofit, Savyonei Atlit and Allon. Atlit is in immediate vicinity of the villages Neve Yam and Ein Carmel.

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Pre-State Israel: Atlit Immigration Camp". Jewish Virtual Library. 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ Marine archaeologyArchived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #387. Also gives "not known" as cause of depopulation
  5. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 147.
  6. ^ Philipp, Thomas (2013). Acre: The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730-1831. Columbia University Press. p. 88. 
  7. ^ Yazbak, Mahmoud (1998). Haifa in the Late Ottoman Period, A Muslim Town in Transition, 1864–1914. Brill Academic Pub. p. 17. 
  8. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 163
  9. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 274
  10. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 143
  11. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 149
  12. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 179
  13. ^ Sandra M. Sufian (2008) Healing the Land and the Nation: Malaria and the Zionist Project in Palestine, 1920-1947, University of Chicago Press, p103
  14. ^ a b Atlit Jewish Virtual Library
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 33
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 87
  17. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 13
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 47
  19. ^ Khalidi, 1992, pp. 146-147
  20. ^ Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)


External links[edit]