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Kiryat Gat

Kiryat Gat, is a city in the Southern District of Israel. It lies 56km south of Tel Aviv, 43km north of Beersheba, 45km from Gaza, and 68km from Jerusalem. At the end of 2012, the city had a total population of 48,275.EtymologyKiryat Gat is named for Gath, one of the five major cities of the Philistines. In Hebrew, "gat" means "winepress". In the 1950s, archaeologists found ruins at a nearby tell which were mistaken for the Philistine city of Gath. The location most favored for Gath now is Tel es-Safi, thirteen kilometers (13km) to the northeast.HistoryKiryat Gat was established in 1955 as a development town by 18 families from Morocco. It was founded just west of the ruins of the Palestinian village Iraq al-Manshiyya, which was depopulated in 1949 after the 1948 Palestine war. The former location of Iraq al-Manshiyya is now within the built-up area of Kiryat Gat. By 1992, Kiryat Gat had grown and spread also on to the land formerly belonged to the village of Al-Faluja.The population rose from 4,400 inhabitants in 1958 to 17,000 in 1969, mostly Jewish immigrants from North Africa. The economy was initially based on processing the agricultural produce of the Lachish region, such as cotton and wool. In December 1972, Kiryat Gat's municipal status was upgraded and it became Israel's 31st city.
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