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  • נְתִיבוֹת
  • نتيفوت
PikiWiki Israel 44401 Aerial photo of Netivot.jpg
Official logo of Netivot
Netivot is located in Israel
Coordinates: 31°25′N 34°35′E / 31.417°N 34.583°E / 31.417; 34.583Coordinates: 31°25′N 34°35′E / 31.417°N 34.583°E / 31.417; 34.583
 • TypeCity (from 1996)
 • MayorYehiel Zohar
 • Total5,626 dunams (5.626 km2 or 2.172 sq mi)
Population (2017)[1]
 • Total33,779
 • Density6,000/km2 (16,000/sq mi)
Name meaningPaths

Netivot (Hebrew: נְתִיבוֹת‬, "paths") is a city in the Southern District of Israel located between Beersheba and Gaza. In 2017 it had a population of 33,779.[1]


Netivot in the early days

Netivot was founded in 1956.[1] Initially a ma'abara, it was later transformed into a development town. The first residents were immigrants from Morocco and Tunisia. In the 1990s, they were joined by immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia. For many years, Netivot suffered from high unemployment.[2] Since 2008, Netivot has been the target of Grad missile attacks from Gaza. In 2012, a rocket exploded near a school in the city.[3]

A major landmark is the tomb of the Baba Sali, a Moroccan-born kabbalist who is buried there.[4]


Ethiopian cultural center in Netivot

In 2001, the ethnic makeup of the city was 99.9% Jewish, with no significant Arab population, and the population was evenly divided between males and females. The city ranked relatively low in the socioeconomic index (3 out of 10)[5] In the wake of Operation Solomon, Netivot absorbed a large number of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.[6]

By the end of 2009 Netivot had a population of 26,700.[7]


According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there were 22 schools and 4,243 students in the city: 16 elementary schools with 3,053 students, and 11 high schools with 1,190 students. 43.1% of 12th grade students were entitled to a Bagrut matriculation certificate in 2001. Netivot schools have been chosen for a special pilot project in which elementary school children build their own mini-robots.

In 2009, a high school student from Netivot won first prize in the First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics competition.[8]

In 2011, Netivot hosted a robotics festival sponsored by the international organization FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.[9] First, second and third graders at the Noam Eliyahu religious school in Netivot spend eight hours a week studying science and robotics at Lehava, the municipal science center.[10]

The Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev (MCLN) runs a two-year community-based leadership program in Netivot.[11]

Local culture[edit]

Netivot is known for being the home of Jewish mystics and as a popular pilgrimage site. The growth of mysticism and sacred sites in Netivot led to it being dubbed the "Varanasi of Israel". The most prominent rabbis in Netivot include Baruch Abuhateizra, Yaakov Israel Ifergan and Yoram Abergel.[12] On the anniversary of the Baba Sali's death, thousands of pilgrims come to Netivot to visit his tomb.[13]

Eleven local newspapers are published in the city.[14]

Three successful nightclubs have opened in Netivot which also draw clientele from out of town, attracting young people from Ashkelon, Beersheba, Omer, Lehavim, Ofakim and Sderot.[15]

Future development[edit]

Architecture in Netivot

Two additional neighborhoods with a total of 3,600 new housing units are planned for Netivot. They are expected to double the city's population.[16] Two large supermarkets are also planned for the city, in addition to the seven already built there.[17]


There are 24 plants and factories located in a nearby industrial park mostly in food processing, metals, plastics and construction sectors.[18] There are an additional 15 factories located in the city in some of the same sectors as above and also chemical and mineral sectors.[19]


  1. ^ a b c "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Greenberg, Joel. "Netivot Journal; In Spirit of Atonement, an Apology to Sephardim".
  3. ^ "Rocket explodes near school in Netivot".
  4. ^ "Negev town of Netivot transforms into South's nightlife hotspot". Haaretz. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Netivot commemorates 20 years to Operation Solomon Archived 2013-10-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Ronen, Gil. "Bennett – We don't Bow our Heads before Turks." Arutz Sheva. 4 February 2013. Retrieved on 10 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Kiryat Gat Teen Wins First Prize in International Physics Competition". 20 September 2012 – via Haaretz.
  9. ^ "Robots Enliven Negev Desert Community". 15 November 2018 – via Haaretz.
  10. ^ "Robots Enliven Negev Desert Community". 15 November 2018 – via Haaretz.
  11. ^ Tomorrow’s Leaders of Today’s Negev Archived 2013-01-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ The Making of Saints: Contesting Sacred Ground. James F Hopgood (ed.) p.38
  13. ^ "Baba Sali". Go Israel. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  14. ^ "In Israeli Desert Town, Print Newspapers Are All the Rage". 1 June 2012 – via Haaretz.
  15. ^ "Negev Town of Netivot Transforms Into South's Nightlife Hotspot". 16 October 2008 – via Haaretz.
  16. ^ "South gets 4,100 new housing units - Israel Business, Ynetnews". 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  17. ^ Yagna, Yanir (2012-08-17). "Supersized supermarkets invade tiny Israeli desert town of Netivot Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Netivot at Wikimedia Commons