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|arname=العفولة|meaning=|founded=1900 BCE (Canaanite settlement)7th century (Samaritan town)14th century (Arab village)1925 (Jewish village)|type=city|typefrom=|altOffSp=|altUnoSp=|country=israel|district=northAfula}}Year}}reference}}|area_dunam=26909|mayor=Avi Elkabetz|pushpin_map=Israel north haifa#Israel32233517region:ILdisplay=inline,title}}|palgrid=177/224}}Afula (, ) is a city in the Northern District of Israel, often known as the "Capital of the Valley" due to its strategic location in the Jezreel Valley. In {{Israel populations|Year}}, the city had a population of {{Israel populations|Afula}}.{{Israel populations|reference}}


Afula is mentioned first around 19th century BC as "Ofel" in the Execration texts.Execration textsDuring the Ottoman era, in the 18th century, there was a small Arab village el-'Afuleh or Affule, in this region.weblinkThe modern name may be derived from the name of this village, possibly originating in the Canaanite-Hebrew root ofel ("fortress tower"),weblink" title="">Afulah, Encyclopedia Judaica or the Arab word for "ruptured".Palmer, 1881, p. 142


Copper Age to Middle Ages

File:Afula Fortress P1170741.JPG|thumb|Remains of Crusader fortress in Afula. Note the Roman sarcophagi as the top layer.]]Afula is possibly the place Ophlah, mentioned in the lists of Pharaoh Thutmose III.Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 40 Afula has been identified with the ancient Israelitetown of Ofel mentioned in the Hebrew Bibleweblink With the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, the area continued to be inhabited, and excavations have revealed artifacts from the periods of Persian and Roman rule. Conder suggested that Afula was identical with Kirjath Ophlathah, a place inhabited by Samaritans in the 7th century.Conder, 1876, p. 196An ancient mound or tell known as Tel 'Afula, located in the heart of modern Afula, suggests almost continuous habitation from the late Chalcolithic period to the Ayyubid period in the 13th century. It contains the remains of a fortress from the Crusader and Mamluk periods. A fortified Crusader tower, 19 meters square, stands in the center. The lower four courses are made of rough boulders, while the top remaining layer is made of reused Roman sarcophagi. The wall is a total of 5.5 meters tall. Pottery remains indicate that it was occupied in the twelfth and thirteenth century.Pringle, 1997, p. 18 For older finds from Tel 'Afula see the Archaeology paragraph.In 1321, Afula was mentioned under the name of Afel by Marino Sanuto.Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 41

Ottoman era

A map by Pierre Jacotin from Napoleon's invasion of 1799 showed this place, named as Afouleh in a French transliteration of the Arabic.Karmon, 1960, p. 167.In 1816, James Silk Buckingham passed by and described Affouli as being built on rising ground, and containing only a few dwellings. He noted several other nearby settlements in sight, all populated by Muslims.Buckingham, 1822, vol 2, p. 381In 1838, Edward Robinson described both Afuleh and the adjacent El Fuleh as "deserted".Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, pp. 163, 181 NB note that ruined villages were marked with a star in the village lists, however neither Afulah of Al Fuleh were marked with that, see: Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 132 William McClure Thomson, in a book published in 1859, noted that Afuleh and the adjacent El Fuleh, were "both now deserted, though both were inhabited twenty-five years ago when I first passed this way." Thomson blamed their desertion on the bedouin.Thomson, 1859, vol 2, p. 216In 1875 Victor Guérin described Afula as a village on a small hill overlooking a little plain. The houses were built of adobe and various other materials. Around the well, which Guérin thought was probably ancient, he noticed several tubs of broken sarcophagi serving as troughs.Guérin, 1880, pp. 109-110 In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described El Afuleh as a small adobe village in the plain, supplied by two wells.A population list from about 1887 showed that el Afuleh had about 630 inhabitants; all Muslims.Schumacher, 1888, p. 183 Gottlieb Schumacher, as part of surveying for the construction of the Jezreel Valley railway, noted in 1900 that it consisted of 50-55 huts and had 200 inhabitants. North of the village was a grain stop, belonging to the Sursocks.Schumacher, 1900, p. 358In 1909 or 1910, Yehoshua Hankin completed his first major purchase in the Jezreel Valley. He bought some 10,000 dunams (10 km²) of land in Al-Fuleh (now Afula), which became the home of two moshav settlements, Merhavia and Tel Adashim.Segev, 1999, p. 242

First World War

During the First World War, Afulah was a major communications hub.In 1917, when Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen of British intelligence established contact with the Nili Jewish spy network in Palestine, a German Jewish doctor stationed at el-Afulah railway junction provided the British with valuable reconnaissance reports on Ottoman and German troop movements southwards.With the advance of General Edmund Allenby's British forces into Ottoman Palestine, el-Afulah was captured by the 4th Cavalry Division of the Desert Mounted Corps, during the cavalry phase of the Battle of Sharon in September 1918.

British Mandate era

According to the British Mandate's 1922 census of Palestine, Affuleh had 563 inhabitants; 471 Muslims, 62 Christians, 28 Jews and 2 Baha'i,Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Nazareth, p. 38 61 of the Christians were Orthodox, while one was Melkite.Barron, 1923, Table XVI, p. 50In 1925, modern Afula was founded after the American Zionist Commonwealth completed a purchase of the Afula valley from the Sursuk family of Beirut. A quarter of the one hundred Arab families who had lived in the area accepted compensation for their land and left voluntarily; the remainder were evicted.130 families, according to List of villages sold by Sursocks and their partners to the Zionists since British occupation of Palestine, evidence to the Shaw Commission, 1930 Jews began settling in Afula shortly after as the town developed.By the 1931 census, the population had increased to 874; with 786 Jews, 86 Muslims, 9 Christians, and 3 classified as "no religion", in a total of 236 houses.Mills, 1932, p. 73In the 1945 census the population of Afula was recorded as 2,300 Jews and 10 Muslims.Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 8 The town had a total of 18,277 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 970, p. 62 Of this, 145 dunams of land was used to cultivate citrus and bananas, 347 dunams were for plantations and irrigable land, 15,103 for cereals,Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 109 while 992 dunams were built-up land.Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 159During this time, the community was served by the Jezreel Valley Railway, part of the larger Hejaz Railway. Since 1913 it had also been the terminus station of the branch connecting it to Jenin and later also to Nablus. Sabotage actions of Jewish underground militias in 1945, 1946 and shortly before the 1948 Arab–Israeli War rendered first the connection to Jenin, then progressively the entire Valley Railway, inoperable.{{citation needed|date=February 2015}}

State of Israel

File:Afula 1948.jpg|thumb|Members of Yiftach Brigade from BeisanBeisan(File:AfulaEarly.jpg|thumb|250px|Afula c. 1950)Repairs to the Jezreel Valley Railway after 1948 restored service to Haifa, but only until 1949 when it was abandoned. In 2011 construction began on a large-scale project to build a new standard gauge railway from Haifa to Beit She'an with stations in Afula and other towns, along roughly the same route as the historic valley railway. Israel Railways began passenger service on the new railway on October 16, 2016.Hilley, Yonathan (October 16, 2016). "The Wheels of History: Valley Railway Returns After 64 Years" [גלגלי ההיסטוריה: אחרי 64 שנים, רכבת העמק שבה לפעילות] (in Hebrew). Maariv. Retrieved October 16, 2016.Due to Afula's proximity to the West Bank, it has been a target for Palestinian political violence."Five die in latest suicide bombing; British bomber dead" On 6 April 1994, the Afula Bus suicide bombing killed five people in the center of Afula. In the Afula axe attack in November 1994, a 19-year-old female soldier was attacked and murdered by an axe-wielding Arab militant.Arab Kills Female Israeli Soldier With Ax, The Washington Post, 1 December 1994 Afula also was the target of a suicide attack on a bus on 5 March 2002, in which one person died and several others were injured at Afula's central bus station. In the Afula mall bombing on 19 May 2003, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up at the Amakim mall, killing three and wounding 70. This attack was claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Fatah movement's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
On 17 July 2006, during the Israel–Hezbollah War, Hezbollah fired Katyusha rockets at Afula, one of the southernmost rocket attacks on Israel from Lebanon. Six people were treated for shock as a result of the attack. On 28 July, a rocket landed causing a fire. The rocket carried {{convert|100|kg|0|abbr=off}} of explosives.Hezbollah missiles with {{convert|100|kg|0|abbr=on}} warhead strike Jezreel ValleyIn September 2016, it was announced that seven new neighborhoods would be built, doubling the city's populationweblink


Afula has a mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa). The average annual temperature is {{convert|20.4|°C|1}}, and around {{convert|468|mm|2|abbr=on}} of precipitation falls annually.{{Weather box|width = auto|location = Afula|metric first = Y|single line = Y|Jan high C = 16.7 |Feb high C = 17.7|Mar high C = 20|Apr high C = 24.6|May high C = 29.3|Jun high C = 31.5|Jul high C = 32.6|Aug high C = 33.1|Sep high C = 31.7|Oct high C = 29.5|Nov high C = 25.1|Dec high C = 18.7|Jan mean C = 12.3|Feb mean C = 12.9|Mar mean C = 14.6|Apr mean C = 18.2|May mean C = 22.7|Jun mean C = 25.4|Jul mean C = 27.2|Aug mean C = 27.8|Sep mean C = 26.2|Oct mean C = 23.6|Nov mean C = 19.6|Dec mean C = 14.3|Jan low C = 8 |Feb low C = 8.2|Mar low C = 9.2|Apr low C = 11.8|May low C = 16.1|Jun low C = 19.4|Jul low C = 21.8|Aug low C = 22.5|Sep low C = 20.8|Oct low C = 17.8|Nov low C = 14.1|Dec low C = 9.9|precipitation colour = green|Jan precipitation mm = 124 |Feb precipitation mm = 89|Mar precipitation mm = 55|Apr precipitation mm = 15|May precipitation mm = 5|Jun precipitation mm = 0|Jul precipitation mm = 0|Aug precipitation mm = 0|Sep precipitation mm = 1|Oct precipitation mm = 13|Nov precipitation mm = 63|Dec precipitation mm = 101|year precipitation mm= 468|source = WEB,weblink Climate: Afula, April 2019, }}


(File:Afula city hall.jpg|thumb|250px|Afula city hall)The Alon Tavor Industrial Zone is located northeast of Afula off Highway 65. The Tadiran air conditioner factory is located there.Company Overview of Tadiran Air Conditioners Ltd. Two Israeli plastics manufacturers, Keter Plastic and StarPlast, are also based there.Afula community guide

Education and culture

(File:PikiWiki Israel 13351 Great Synagogue in Afula.jpg|thumb|250px|Great synagogue of Afula)(File:Afula City Auditorium and Art Gallery 01.jpg|thumb|250px|City Auditorium and Art Gallery)According to CBS, there are 24 schools and 8,688 students in the city: 16 elementary schools with a student population of 3,814 and 12 high schools with 4,874 students. 52.3% of 12th grade students were entitled to a matriculation certificate in 2001.

Health care

HaEmek Medical Center in Afula was the first regional hospital in the country.


The ancient mound of Afula, known as Tel 'Afula, is close to the city center, west of Route 60 and south of Ussishkin Street. Very little of the initial six-acre tell remains due to construction work done in this area since the British Mandate period. The southern peak of the mound is the better preserved part. It was once widely considered to be the biblical site of Ophrah, the hometown of the judge Gideon,weblink but contemporary scholars generally disagree with this supposition. Archaeological finds date from the Chalcolithic through the Byzantine period, followed by remains from the Crusader and Mamluk periods.
The first excavations at Tel ‘Afula, carried out in 1948, found Late Chalcolithic–Early Bronze Age remains. Tombs from the Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age II, Late Bronze Age–Iron Age I and Roman period were discovered near the municipal water tower. Archaeologists discovered the Crusader-Mamluk fortress on the southern peak of the tell, a Byzantine olive press and evidence of an Early Bronze Age settlement near the northern peak.Feig, 2012, Tel Afula final reportIn 1950–1951, excavations on the northwestern slope of the peak revealed a pottery workshop for Tell el-Yahudiyeh Ware from Middle Bronze Age II and another pottery workshop from Middle Bronze Age I.From the 1990s, several small excavations unearthed an uninterrupted sequence of settlement remains from the Chalcolithic until the Late Byzantine periods as well as remains from the Mamluk period.Dalali-Amos, 2008, ‘Afula Final ReportIn 2012, excavations were conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority on the southern peak of Tel Afula where the Crusader-Mamluk fortress is located. Due to construction activity from the 1950s, settlement layers on the tell may have been destroyed. Only meager remnants were found, indicative of a settlement from Early Bronze Age I and the Roman period. Pottery from Early Bronze Age III, Iron Age I and a single Hellenistic Attic fragment indicate settlement on the tell in these periods. Fragments of glazed bowls from the thirteenth century were found along the southern edge of the excavation.


The city's basketball club, Hapoel Afula, currently play in the Liga Leumit.The main football club, Hapoel Afula, won Liga Alef in the 2012-13 season and is currently playing at Liga Leumit.

Twin towns

(File:Water tower used by Jezreel Valley railway, Afula.JPG|thumb|250px|Afula water tower){| class="wikitable"! City! State! Country| Ingelheim am RheinRhineland-Palatinate}} Rhineland-PalatinateGER}} Germany| OsnabrückLower Saxony}} Lower SaxonyGER}} Germany| BiłgorajLublin Voivodeship}} Lublin VoivodeshipPOL}} PolandProvidence, Rhode Island>ProvidenceRhode Island}} Rhode IslandUSA}} United StatesWorcester, Massachusetts>WorcesterMassachusetts}} MassachusettsUSA}} United StatesNew Haven, Connecticut>New HavenConnecticut}} ConnecticutUSA}} United StatesStamford, Connecticut>StamfordConnecticut}} ConnecticutUSA}} United StatesWest Hartford, Connecticut>West HartfordConnecticut}} ConnecticutUSA}} United StatesFresno, California>FresnoCalifornia}} CaliforniaUSA}} United StatesSanta Fe, Argentina>Santa FeSanta Fe}} Santa Fe ProvinceARG}} Argentina| Mingachevir| {{no flag}} MingachevirAZE}} Azerbaijan

Notable residents




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  • JOURNAL, Bron, Hendrik, 2013-08-28,weblink ‘Afula Final Report, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, 125,
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  • Zevulun, U., "Tell el-Yahudiyeh Juglets from a Potter’s Refuse Pit at Afula", ''Eretz-Israel 21 (1990), pp. 174–190, p. 107.

External links

{{Wikivoyage|Afula}} {{Northern District (Israel)}}

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