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Beit El

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Beit El
Beit El 1
Beit El
Region West Bank
District Judea and Samaria Area
Government Local council
Hebrew בֵּית אֵל
Also spelled Bet El (officially)
Population 5,300 (2007)
Area 1528 dunams (1.528 km2; 0.590 sq mi)
Founded in 1977
Coordinates 31°55′48″N 35°13′12″E / 31.93°N 35.22°E / 31.93; 35.22Coordinates: 31°55′48″N 35°13′12″E / 31.93°N 35.22°E / 31.93; 35.22
File:Bet El.jpg

Beit El (Hebrew: בֵּית אֵל‎) is an Israeli settlement and a local council in the Benjamin region of the central West Bank, within the borders of the Matte Binyamin Regional Council. The religiously observant town is located in the hills north of Jerusalem east of the Palestinian city of al-Bireh. In 2009, it had a population of 5,308. [1]The head of the local council is Moshe Rosenbaum.[2]


History

In Biblical times, Bethel was the site where Jacob slept and dreamt of the angels coming up and down a ladder. [3] Bethel has been identified with the ruins surrounding the Palestinian village of Beitin and with hilltop site of Pisgat Ya'akov.

Beit El was established in 1977, ten years after the Six Day War. Several families moved into the Israel Defense Forces base and others settled on nearby hilltops. In September 1997, Beit El was awarded local council status. 1,200 families now reside in Beit El, most affiliated with the Religious Zionist Movement.

Geography and climate

Beit El has a higher elevation than Jerusalem, and has cool nights in the summer and occasional snow in the winter. The Pisgat Ya'akov neighborhood has a hilltop observatory with a commanding view of the surrounding hills where one may view as far away as the Tel Aviv area and Mount Hermon on clear days.

Demographics

The rabbis of the town are Rabbi Shlomo Aviner and Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed who is also the rosh yeshiva of the local Beit El Yeshiva. Beit El has a large percentage of immigrants from other countries and is also home to a unique community of Bnei Menashe from Manipur and Mizoram.[4]

Economy

The yeshiva owns and operates Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio which operates out of studios in Beit El and Petah Tikva. [5] Beit El also has a number of small factories, such as tefillin factory, a winery, metalworks, carpentry shops, a bakery and others.

House demolition

In November 2009, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the state to explain within 30 days why it has ordered the demolition of ten buildings in Beit El. The attorney for Kiryat HaYeshiva Beit El company has presented documentation showing that the land on which the buildings stand was legally purchased from the original Arab owner. The buildings are located on the lower heights of Pisgat Yaakov, also known as Jabal Artis, overlooking Beit El to the south and west.[6]

Notable residents

References

Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Beit El. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

  1. Israeli database
  2. Israeli database
  3. "Bethel" in M. G. Easton, Illustrated Bible Dictionary, T. Nelson and Sons, London, 1894
  4. Bnei Menashe home page
  5. Israel National News
  6. Supreme Court to Government: Why Destroy Beit El Buildings

External links

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