Kiryat Shemona

  • Issue: December 1999
  • Designer: Zina & Zvilka Roitman
  • Stamps Size: 40 mm x 25.7 mm
  • Plate nos.: 393
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

The town of Kiryat Shemona was established on July 21st, 1948. The settlement was initially named Eer Ganim, then Kiryat Yossef, and was only later called Kiryat Shemona ("Town of the Eight") in commemoration of Yossef Trumpledor and his seven comrades who fell defending Tel Hai in 1920.

The majority of the first settlers were immigrants from Yemen, who were housed in the abandoned stone houses of the Arab village Halsa, deserted before the country's establishment. The new immigrants were employed as weavers in a straw mat plant producing for export. Those that followed entered the tent camp established at the foot of the Naftali mountains. At the time when the stream of immigrants increased, a tin-hut camp was built along Tel Hai Avenue, housing immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Romania and Hungary. Another wave of immigrants arrived in the 60's, mainly from North Africa, and over the past decade some 4,000 immigrants from the CIS have been absorbed in the city.

In 1958, Kiryat Shemona was awarded local council status, and in 1974 was declared a city. Kiryat Shemona is considered a symbol of the State of Israel due to the strong-willed stand of its citizens. For the past 30 years the city has suffered difficult security situation, when the first Katiusha rocket landed on the city in December 1968. The city has lost about 35 of its residents in these acts of hostility. In 1974 the city experienced a terrorist attack that ended with the death of 16 people. However, despite all this, the local population has now reached approximately 23,000 and its youth love their city and are proud of it. The city zoning plan has set a goal of increasing the population to 45,000 and four new city quarters are designed to be established. The city is preparing for the absorption of new population and the development of employment resources. Kiryat Shemona is recognized as Development zone A for industry and tourism.

Kiryat Shemona is located in the Upper Galilee, on the eastern slopes of the Naftali Mountains Ramiro Range, north of the Hula Valley, on the ancient crossroad to Syria and Lebanon. The inspiring landscape, the proximity to and view of the "Land of Abundant Waters": the Jordan River, Ayun River and the Tanur Falls, the Dan, Snir, Banias and Hermon rivers, the-Hula valley the geological park reserve and the Kiryat Shemona­Manara cable car - all these are tourist attractions.

The education system in Kiryat Shemona is amongst the most developed in Israel and a pioneer in many aspects. In 1998, the number of high school graduates granted diplomas totaled 54.8%, higher than the national average. The education system has twice been awarded the Education Prize, which in 1999, was granted to the special education system. Tel Hai College, in proximity of the city, is a regional cooperation effort that has been producing generations of students, bestowing academic degrees in six fields, including biotechnology and computer sciences, and approved by the Higher Education Board.

The city has an active airport. In 1999, the airport was expanded and a new passenger terminal is to be built. An inter-regional industrial zone has been established in the city, with extensive areas prepared for industry, housingmetal and electronics plants, medical products and plastics manufacturers as well as an agricultural and biotechnological research institute. Furthermore, there are support services for industry: MATT (entrepreneur development center) and the research and development technological greenhouse. Kiryat Shemona is currently a service and trade center for the Upper Galilee and for tourists visiting the region. We all hope that when peace comes, the city will serve as a bridge and border passage and as a center of commerce, industry and tourism.

Kiryat Shemona Municipality

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Kiryat Shemona - 50 Years