28 Facts About Jaffa


Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo and in Arabic Yafa and called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel.

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Jaffa is known for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus, and later for its oranges.

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Ancient Jaffa was built on a 40 metres high ridge, with a broad view of the coastline, giving it a strategic importance in military history.

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The tell of Jaffa, created through the accumulation of debris and landfill over the centuries, made the hill even higher.

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Jaffa is mentioned in an Ancient Egyptian letter from 1440 BCE.

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Jaffa is mentioned four times in the Hebrew Bible, as a city opposite the territory given to the Hebrew Tribe of Dan, as port-of-entry for the cedars of Lebanon for Solomon's Temple, as the place whence the prophet Jonah embarked for Tarshish and again as port-of-entry for the cedars of Lebanon for the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

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Jaffa is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as the territorial border of the Tribe of Dan, hence the modern term "Gush Dan" for the center of the coastal plain.

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At some point following the death of Solomon, Jaffa returned to Philistine control, because in the late VIII century BC, Neo-Assyrian emperor Sennacherib recorded conquering and Jaffa from its sovereign, the Philistine king of Ashkelon.

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Jaffa seems to have attracted serious Jewish scholars in the 4th and 5th century.

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Frederick II fortified the castle of Jaffa and had two inscriptions carved into city wall, one Latin and the other Arabic.

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Jaffa camped in the port city of Jaffa in the morning and conquered it, by God's will, in the third hour of that day.

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The governor who was appointed after these devastating events, Muhammad Abu-Nabbut, commenced wide-ranging building and restoration work in Jaffa, including the Mahmoudiya Mosque and Sabil Abu Nabbut.

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In 1917, the Tel Aviv and Jaffa deportation resulted in the Ottomans expelling the entire civilian population.

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In 1945, Jaffa had a population of 94,310, of whom 50,880 were Muslims, 28,000 were Jews, 15,400 were Christians and 30 were classified as "other".

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One of the main concerns for the people of Jaffa was the protection of the citrus fruit export trade which had still not reached its pre-Second World War highs.

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At the beginning of 1948 Jaffa's defenders consisted of one company of around 400 men organised by the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Boundaries of Tel Aviv and Jaffa became a matter of contention between the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli government during 1948.

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The issue had international sensitivity, since the main part of Jaffa was in the Arab portion of the United Nations Partition Plan, whereas Tel Aviv was not, and no armistice agreements had yet been signed.

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The pioneers of modern agriculture in Jaffa were American settlers, who brought in farm machinery in the 1850s and 1860s, followed by the Templers and the Jews.

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Jaffa currently has 46,000 residents, of whom 30,000 are Jews and 16,000 are Arabs.

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Jaffa suffers from drug problems, high crime rates and violence.

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Some Arab residents have alleged that the Israeli authorities are attempting to Judaize Jaffa by evicting Arab residents from houses owned by the Amidar government-operated public housing company.

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Jaffa Hill is a center for archaeological finds, including restored Egyptian gates, about 3,500 years old.

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Jaffa Lighthouse is an inactive lighthouse located in the old port.

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Greek Orthodox Monastery of Archangel Michael near Jaffa Port has Romanian and Russian communities in its compound.

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The majority of excavations in Jaffa are salvage in nature and are conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority since the 1990s.

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Jaffa is served by the Dan Bus Company, which operates buses to various neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and Bat Yam.

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Knight Of Jaffa is the second episode of the Doctor Who story The Crusade, set in Palestine during the Third Crusade.

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