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The city of Kiryat Gat is located in the northern Negev between Israel’s congested center and its sparse periphery. It is situated along the strategic junctions linking Tel Aviv with Beersheva and Ashkelon with Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The city covers an area of approximately 3.2 sq. miles (which is about 8.4 sq. kilometers) and covers 4,250 acres (17,000 Dunams).
The city was established in 1955 by 18 families from Morocco. Very quickly they were followed by other new immigrants, mostly from North Africa (Tunisia and Morocco). The current population is 55,865.
The Mayor of Kiryat Gat, Aviram Dahari, was elected in November 2003. Aviram spent his earliest years on Moshav Maishan near Ashkelon and then moved to Kiryat Gat. He has a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computers from Ben Gurion University in Beersheva and he also holds a Masters of Science in Business Management. He has worked in cellular communications for Nortel and has founded three start-up companies.
The Lachish Regional Council is located in the northern Negev, linking Israel’s congested center and its sparse periphery. It is situated along the strategic junctions linking Tel Aviv with Beersheva and Ashkelon with Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The Council covers an area of 500,000 Dunam (about 193 sq. miles, 500 sq. kilometers, or 125,000 acres) of agricultural land comprised of 14 moshavim (cooperative communities) and one regional Center at Nehora. The area stretches from the hills opposite Hebron across the width of Israel almost all the way to Ashkelon. The population was last counted at 11,000.
The Lachish area has rich historical significance dating back to Biblical times. Remains from the Roman period and the Jewish resistance can be found at Moshav Lachish, Amatzia and other locations in the area. The western part was also an important strategic point in Israel’s War of Independence. Its close proximity to the center of the country, its picturesque scenery, fresh air, open spaces and interesting archeological sites make it an attractive tourist destination.
The mayor of the Lachish Regional Council is Danny Moravia, who was elected in January 2004. Danny was born and raised in the Lachish Region. Upon completion of high school, Danny became an army “SEAL”. After the army, Danny worked in agriculture growing flowers; he went into marketing and became the exclusive marketer of flowers to 400-500 supermarkets in Israel. Danny volunteered in his own community, which brought him in touch with the political world.
The Shafir Regional Council is located in the northern Negev, linking Israel’s congested center and its sparse periphery. It is situated along the strategic junctions linking Tel Aviv with Beersheva and Ashkelon with Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The Shafir Region covers an area of approximately 61.8 sq. miles (160 sq. kilometers) and consists of 14 rural communities, including Moshav Shitufi Massuot Yitzhak (mostly populated by residents who prior to 1948 were first Holocaust survivors and then lived in Gush Etzion), Kibbutz Ein Tsurim, three regional centers and eight moshavim (cooperative communities).
The Shafir Region was established during the years 1948-52 by immigrants from Tunisia, Morocco, Iran, Germany Kurdistan, Hungary and Yemen. The population of the region is approximately 10,481 residents, consisting mainly of veteran Israelis. Most of the residents of Shafir are religiously and kashrut observant.
Because of its unique religious character, there are many nationally-acclaimed religious educational institutions in the area, including the Yaakov Herzog Center at Ein Tsurim, Yeshivat Or Etzion, a higher education Yeshiva, a military residential facility, and an Ulpana (boarding school for girls). In addition, the National Center for Shechita (ritual slaughter) Rulings is based in Shafir.
The mayor of Shafir is Asher Aberjil. He was elected in November 2002. Asher has a B.Ed. from Bar Ilan University, a Masters of Education from Touro College and a Management Diploma from Bar Ilan University. Asher was a high school teacher who went on to train other teachers. He has been a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Education and the Minister of Housing. He has also managed an Economic Development Corporation.