Eilat is a city and a port 55 000, founded in 19521, located in the extreme south of the State of Israel, on the edge of the Gulf of Eilat, near the Negev desert between Egypt and Jordan.
It is also a popular resort comprising thirty luxury hotels.
Eilat is indeed very appreciated for its climate and its sunshine.
It is recognized as a resort full of gaiety, ideal for scuba diving and excursions in the Negev desert, but also on the Red Sea.
The proximity of the borders of neighboring states allow to travel to Egypt or Jordan.
Eilat is one of the three ports of Israel (with Haifa and Ashdod) and is used for the import of goods from the Far East.
Eilat became a free trade area in 1985.
Eilat is a popular resort for foreign tourists, especially Americans, French, and English.
In recent years the city also receives many tourists from Russia and the Scandinavian countries.
The city has about fifty hotels many of which are classified five stars (King Solomon, Dan, Royal Beach, Hilton Queen of Sheba, Le Méridien, Herrods and The Princess).
Coral reefs and thousands of amazing fish from the Red Sea Eilat are an internationally renowned diving spot appreciated by both divers as beginners who may, for example, diving with wild dolphins at Dolphin Reef .
Eilat is also known for its many attractions such as the underwater observatory "Coral World", an IMAX theater and festive holiday atmosphere.
In fact the city has very many bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Eilat Promenade, located downtown in the sea, is one of the busiest streets day and night.
The shops are open until midnight.
The population of Eilat includes a large number of foreign workers, estimated at more than 10,000, many of whom work in the construction trades.
Despite its secluded location (at least from a national perspective), Eilat is relatively accessible because the city has two airports: the "center Eilat hotel airport" for small haul flights and Ovda Airport, in the desert 60 kilometers from Eilat, for international flights.
There are also buses through liaison Jerusalem Eilat and Tel Aviv-Eilat via Beer-Sheva in about 4 to 5 hours drive.
The high-speed train project Tel Aviv Eilat, study for several years, was revived by the Government in 2012.
It would link the two cities in two hours.
The city is also served by two border crossing points, the Taba border crossing that connects to Taba in Egypt and Wadi Araba Crossing that connects to Aqaba in Jordan.
Once called Asiongaber, Eilat was one of the points whence the fleets of Solomon who went to Ophir.
Eilat is mentioned several times in the Bible, first as one of the stations of the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt.
King David conquered Edom and taken and Eilat.
In the second book of Kings 14: 21-22 it is written: "And all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
Azariah rebuilt Elath and pulled her under the power of Judah, after the king slept with his fathers. "
Then again in 16: 6: "In that time Rezin king of Syria, led back Elath to power of the Syrians; he expelled the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, where they lived until now. "
The area of ??Eilat was declared as part of the Jewish state in the partition plan of Palestine to the United Nations established in 1947.
During the Arab-Israeli war of 1948-1949, the only building in the area, an old Ottoman police station named Oum Rashrash in Arabic, was taken without a fight March 10, 1949 as part of Operation Ovda, to which Hanegev Golani Brigades and participated.
Having forgotten to bring an Israeli flag with them, the soldiers improvised a "flag in ink" to demand Israel to the area that would be built Eilat.
Originally conceived as a simple military outpost, Eilat has grown rapidly.
The old Timna copper mines were reopened and built a port, the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline was created and tourists began to arrive.
The port of Eilat quickly became vital to the development of the emerging countries.
In 1949, Egypt refused passage through the Suez Canal to vessels flying Israeli flags or any ship carrying goods to or from Israeli ports.
Therefore, Eilat and its port became crucial points of communication, commerce and trade with Africa and Asia, and for oil imports.
Without a port on the Red Sea, Israel would not have been able to effectively expand its diplomatic relations, cultural exchanges and links beyond the Mediterranean and Europe.
Such a situation occurred in 1967 when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping resulting in the closure of the port of Eilat.
Israel made it a casus belli, leading to the outbreak of the Six Day War.
After the peace treaties signed with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, the borders of Eilat with its neighbors were finally opened.
Despite the rise of terrorism in the world, Eilat was relatively safe, with an average of 2 to of 3 incidents per decade over the past 30 years.
The last suicide attack occurred in a bakery in a residential area January 29, 2007.
Three Israelis were killed in the explosion.
The climate of Eilat is very dry.
Indeed, as in the Negev desert near the humidity is below 10% and temperatures are very high.
In summer, they can regularly exceed 40 ° C, sometimes reaching 45 ° C in the shade.
During the summer, the resort town Eilat Gulf of Eilat where maximum temperatures are the highest.
Indeed, in Eilat, can sometimes raise maximum temperatures of 3 to 4 ° C higher than in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt), yet city located further south on the Gulf of Eilat; the opposite occurs in winter, but to a lesser extent (1-2 ° C on average more Sharm el Sheikh).
Eilat, the sun almost all year reign.
Few cloudy days and even fewer rainy days (2 mm of rain only during the 2007/20082 season).
The temperature of the Red Sea in Eilat remains between 21-27 ° C (70-81 ° F) throughout the year.
More than 100 kinds of coral and 800 species of fish live in these waters.
In 2007, more than 200 Sudanese refugees in Egypt arrived in Israel illegally but as they worked the state decided they could stay in Eilat.
The city of Eilat maintains active relationships with sister cities below:
- France Antibes, France which is among the five cities spanned the Sophia Antipolis
- Chile Arica, Chile
- Bulgaria Smolyan, Bulgaria
- Germany Kamen, Germany
- the Netherlands Kampen, Netherlands
- Canada Toronto, Canada
- United States Los Angeles, United States
- Hungary Sopron, Hungary
- Slovakia Piestany, Slovakia
- Argentina Ushuaia, Argentina
- Mexico Acapulco, Mexico
A suivre: / To be continued: / Chanson un jour demander - Shir Levi