HaKirya in Tel Aviv

Sunday, 4 June 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Sarona Compound © Doraharon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sarona Compound © Doraharon/cc-by-sa-3.0

HaKirya, or The Kirya (lit.: The Campus), is an area in central Tel Aviv, consisting of an urban military base north of Kaplan Street, and a civilian area south of it. HaKirya contains the Tel Aviv District‘s government center and the major Israel Defense Forces (IDF) base Camp Rabin, named for Yitzhak Rabin. It was one of the first IDF bases and has served as the IDF’s headquarters since its founding in 1948. Being located in a dense urban environment, the base serves mainly command, administrative, communications, and support functions.

Much of the Kirya today is located on the lands of Sarona, a German Templer settlement founded in the 19th Century (German Colony in Palestine). Sarona was an agricultural colony, and kept this nature despite the expansion of Tel Aviv and attempts by the city to buy some of Sarona’s lands.

In World War II, the British forces took control of Sarona and converted it into a prison camp for Germans. After the war, the German prisoners were deported, mostly to Australia, and Sarona became a British military and police base. The base was the site of the first-ever unconcealed attack by the terrorist organization Haganah on a British installation and many others against British and Palestinian targets followed. The base was taken over by the Haganah on 16 December 1947, and renamed Camp Yehoshua after Yehoshua Globerman (1905–1947), who was killed near Latrun while returning from a mission to Jerusalem. It was the first independent Jewish “military base” in modern history. The base was dubbed HaKirya because it contained the government offices in Tel Aviv, today’s de jure capital of Israel. The Haganah and the IDF, co-founded by the organization, also used the Templer buildings as their first headquarters, including the headquarters of the Sherut Avir (later Israeli Air Force) and the Kiryati Brigade. The Givati Brigade was also founded at the base.

Matcal Tower, Israel's Ministry of Defence © flickr.com - Justin LaBerge/cc-by-2.0 Prime Minister's Office (ex Haus Wilhelm Aberle) © IDF Spokesperson's Unit/cc-by-sa-3.0 Sarona Compound © Doraharon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Sarona Market © Dr. Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5 Sarona © udi Steinwell/cc-by-2.5 Sarona water wheel © dr. avishai teicher/cc-by-sa-4.0 Templers' structure © Israel Preker/cc-by-2.5 Templers buildings of_Sarona on Kaplan Street © David Shankbone/cc-by-3.0 Azrieli Bridge - Demonstrating against Netanyahu's 'judicial reform' suppressing the Supreme Court 2023 © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0 Azrieli Center from Totzeret HaHaretz © Ynhockey/cc-by-sa-4.0 Azrieli Sarona Tower © Gidi Epstein/cc-by-sa-3.0 Da Vinci Towers © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0 Sarona © Deror_avi/cc-by-sa-4.0 HaYovel Tower © Mozesy2k/cc-by-sa-2.5 Kanarit Towers © panoramio.com - Anatoli Axelrod/cc-by-3.0 Marganit Tower, an old landmark of Sarona © Daniel Maleck Lewy/cc-by-sa-3.0 German Colony seen from Azrieli Observation point © Okedem and Shlomith Kedem/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Azrieli Bridge - Demonstrating against Netanyahu's 'judicial reform' suppressing the Supreme Court 2023 © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0
Over the years, the military base’s land area has been decreasing due to the high land value and sale to private companies. In 2009, Camp Rabin was the base with the largest number of regular soldiers. Many of the civilian government offices once spread over the entire former Sarona colony were concentrated outside the military base in the Kirya Tower, which was completed in 2005 in the southern part of the Kirya.

The Kirya today consists of a northern section, used for the military base, and the southern one, a business district which includes the Kirya Tower. These sections are separated by Kaplan Street. The military base is home to the Matcal Tower and Marganit Tower, and serves as the headquarters of the IDF’s General Staff. There are plans to evacuate parts of the northern section (military base), including the dining room, in favor of the Tel Aviv Light Rail and private development. Plans also exist to build five new towers inside the base, including new structures for the Military Intelligence Directorate and Navy. In August 2013, The Tel Aviv Local Committee approved plans for the Keren HaKirya mixed-use complex, composed of 80- and 50-storey commercial towers, two 45-storey residential towers, on a base consisting of a two-storey retail mall, at the intersection of Menachem Begin and Shaul HaMelech Boulevards. Hakirya Bridge, a pedestrian bridge above Begin Road connects the district to Azrieli Center, a landmark high-rise commercial complex in Tel Aviv located to the east. A pedestrian bridge connects Azrieli Center with HaShalom railway station, which is also accessible at street level via Giva’at HaTahmoshet Street/HaShalom Road (an extension of Kaplan Street).

Read more on German Colony in Palestine and Wikipedia HaKirya (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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