Coordinates: 32° 27' 00" N 34° 55' 00" E
Hadera1 is situated on the Mediterranean coastal plain, forty-five kilometers (twenty-eight miles) north of Tel Aviv. Two of Israel's major railroad lines pass near Hadera. And two of Israel's main north-south highways pass close to the city's center. An economically important paper mill is located in Hadera, as is one of the world's largest desalination plants. Hadera is the site of Israel's largest power plant – the Orot Rabin Power Plant.
Lithuanian and Latvian Jews who had immigrated to Palestine founded Hadera in 1891. The land on which Hedera would be constructed was purchased by Yehoshua Hankin2 (a Zionist activist and prolific purchaser of land in Palestine for Zionist organizations) from Selim Khuri, a Christian effendi3. The land was swampland, and would need to be drained before it could be put to any useful agricultural purpose; the drainage was done with the help of Egyptian workers sent to Hedera under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Prior to the purchase, the swampland had been inhabited by a few families who both raised water buffalo and sold reeds that grew in the marsh. Cemetery tombstones indicate that out of a population of five-hundred-forty people, two-hundred-ten (thirty-nine percent) died from malaria4.
The local Bedouin and the residents of Hedera did not get along in the early years. As a consequence, HaShomer5, a Jewish Defense group, guarded Hedera's fields. By the 1930s, however, things settled down, and land disputes were resolved.
The population of Hedera has grown considerably since 1948. Among the new arrivals were Russians and other Europeans, families from Yemen, and immigrants from Ethiopia.
Beginning in the 1990s, Hedera was subjected to acts of terrorism that included the murder of six people attending a Bat Mizvah. In October 2005 the death of seven people, and the injury of fifty-five others, occurred when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a falafel stand. Four years earlier, in 2001, four people were killed when a terrorist opened fire at a bus stop. In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah broke something of a "record" when it hit Hedera with three rockets fired from within Lebanon; the Lebanese border is fifty miles north of Hedera. The construction of a wall along the West Bank, the frequency of these attacks have declined.
Leah Haber Gedalia
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Created: 14 Dec 2017
Last Modified: 05-19-2018
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