Jisr az-Zarqa in Israel

Friday, 29 October 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© ShelleyAnne Peleg/cc-by-2.5

© ShelleyAnne Peleg/cc-by-2.5

Jisr az-Zarqa (lit. “The blue bridge”; often shortened as Jisr) is an Israeli Arab town on Israel‘s northern Mediterranean coastal plain. Located just north of Caesarea within the Haifa District, it achieved local council status in 1963. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) the town had a population of 13,689 in 2014, living on 1,500 dunams (1.5 km²) of coastal land. 80% of residents reportedly live below the poverty line. The name Jisr az-Zarqa is a reference to Taninim Stream, which is known in Arabic as the “Blue Valley” (Wadi az-Zarka). Jisr az-Zarqa is the only Arab-majority town in Israel located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite the good location, the town is one of the poorest communities in Israel. For years, the housing ministry has been trying to get a construction project off the ground for new apartments in order to improve the situation. However, this fails because the community fears that many Jews or wealthy Arabs from outside the community could ultimately win the bid for these apartments, which are very popular because of their location. The last proposal was to set the percentage reserved for the resident population at 75 percent.

Before the establishment of the state of Israel, it was inhabited by Bedouin of the Ghawarina tribe. The intervention of Jews from the neighboring towns of Zikhron Ya’akov and Binyamina, who relied on the population of Jisr az-Zarqa for agricultural labor, prevented the dispersal of its population in 1948.

© Orrling/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Pavol Filadelfi/cc-by-3.0 © oshra dayan/cc-by-2.5 © oshra dayan/cc-by-2.5 © ShelleyAnne Peleg/cc-by-2.5 © Golf Bravo
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© ShelleyAnne Peleg/cc-by-2.5
In November 2002, the Caesarea Development Corporation constructed a large earthen embankment running the length of the 160 meter-wide corridor between Jisr az-Zarqa and neighboring Caesarea. The embankment was built to block noise from the muezzin in local mosques, celebratory gunfire, and to reduce property crime in surrounding communities. Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa claim that the national park in the north, the embankment to the south, the highway to the east and the sea to the west, are keeping the town from expanding.

The main coastal highway was built without providing an access to the village. However, a new interchange to Jisr az-Zarqa is being planned. The municipality of Jisr az-Zarka is seeking to promote environmental tourism to the town and its beachfront. The Israel National Trail, a cross-country trail that runs from Dan in the north to Eilat in the south, passes through Jisr az-Zarka. In 2013 it was reported that there were efforts to turn the town into a tourist destination.

In 2011, a women’s leadership program was established in the wake of a similar project in the nearby town of Fureidis, to encourage women’s participation in political and public leadership positions.

Problems of pollution and overfishing in the coastal waters have affected the local economy, and many now work inland. From 20 to 30 buses transport on a daily basis Jisr az-Zarqa residents to jobs, mostly menial, in Haifa, Tel Aviv and elsewhere.

Read more on TouristIsrael.com – Jisr az-Zarqa and Wikipedia Jisr az-Zarqa (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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