Beer Sheva

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Beer Sheva
Beersheba coat of arms
Basic data
hebrew : בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע
arabic : بئر السبع
State : IsraelIsrael Israel
District : south
Coordinates : 31 ° 15 '  N , 34 ° 47'  E Coordinates: 31 ° 15 '4 "  N , 34 ° 47' 16"  E
Height : 260  m
Area : 117.500  km²
Residents : 209.002 (as of: 2018)
Population density : 1,779 inhabitants per km²
Community code : 9000
Time zone : UTC + 2
Postal code : 84 ***
Community type: city
Mayor : Ruvik Danilovich
Website :
Beer Sheva (Israel)
Beer Sheva
Beer Sheva

Beer Sheva ( Hebrew בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע[bɛ (ʾ) ɛr'ʃɛva] Be'er Sheva ? / i , translated "fountain of the oath" or "fountain of the seven"; ArabicAudio file / audio sample  بئر السبع, DMG Biʾr as-Sabʿ ) is a major city in southern Israel ; it is one of the largest cities in the country. In Latin characters, a variety of other spellings occurs her name, as Be'er Sheva , Beersheba , Beer Sheva , Beersheba , biblical Beersheba .


Be'er Scheva is considered the "capital of the Negev ", on the edge of which it is located. For a long time the city was the fourth largest city in Israel after Jerusalem , Tel Aviv and Haifa ; in the meantime, however, with 209,002 inhabitants (as of 2018) it has fallen behind Rishon LeZion and Ashdod , but is still considered one of the country's metropolises. The population is de facto up to 20,000 higher than officially recorded. Many students at the four academic institutes in the city are not officially registered as Be'er Shevaites. The relative seclusion of the city from the center of the state makes it a very important regional attraction.

An agglomeration around Beer Sheva has been officially defined since 2001. At the end of 2004 there were 521,100 inhabitants in 125 localities, with an annual growth rate of 1.8%. The satellite cities of Omer , Tel Scheva , Lehawim , Rahat , Ofakim , Segev Schalom and Meitar are located in the innermost ring of settlement . In the middle and outer ring are the villages of Arad , Sderot , Netiwot , Mizpe Ramon , Jerocham , Laqiye , Kseife , Hura , Ar'ara BaNegev and Dimona .



The city is mainly located in the Beer Sheva Arad plain. The Ramotviertel in the northeast extends over the hills of the last foothills of the Hebron Mountains, which are made of white limestone. The flat parts of the city consist of loess , in which water can hardly seep away. With the rare rainfall, this quickly leads to the formation of surface water, local flooding, sludge formation and soil erosion. The urban area within the official city limits is 54 square kilometers.

Climate diagram of Beer Sheva

City structure

New building district in Beersheba

Most of today's city is only a few decades old. Unlike many other Israeli developing cities, Beersheba managed to develop into a central location in the region.

The center of the city is still in the area of ​​the old town, although attempts have been made temporarily to create other centers in the past decades. Large residential areas were built north of the old town, while larger industrial areas (with factories in the fields of ceramics, building materials and chemicals) were created in the east and south. The heavy chemical industry was relocated to the southern industrial area of Ramat Chovav from the 1970s .

Most of the Be'er Scheva districts, especially the older ones, are numbered according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, according to the scheme “Shchuna (quarter / quarter) + letters”. The border between the quarters mostly runs along the very broad main traffic axes. The spelled quarters are: Shchuna Aleph (1), Bet (2), Gimmel (3), Dalet (4), Dalet-Ost (also Old-Vav), Hey (5), Vav (6) (also New-Vav ), Tet (9) and Iodine-Aleph (11). The unnumbered quarters are: the old town (haIr haAtika), the modern city center (Merkaz Ezrachi), Ramot, Newe Noj, Newe Ze'ev, Darom, Nachal Beka and Nachal Aschan / Newe Menachem as well as the industrial areas Kirjat Jehudit and Emek Sarah.


Due to its location in the northern Negev, Beersheba has a hot and very dry climate during the day in summer, with the nights being relatively mild. In winter it is mild during the day and relatively cool at night. Frost is extremely rare, snow only occurs a few times per century. Rain falls only sporadically, an average of 203 millimeters per year and only in the winter rainy season. Thus, by definition, the city is located in a semi-desert zone . Massive dust storms often occur in spring. In winter, dense morning fog occurs in the flat parts of the city. The prevailing winds in the early morning come from the south (dry desert air) and in the afternoon and evening from the northwest (moist sea air).



The excavations at Tell Beersheba
Abraham's source in Beersheba

During excavations since 1969 on " Tell Be'er Scheva " east of the city, traces of human settlement from the fourth millennium BC were found. The UNESCO has this Tell in 2005 to World Heritage declared.

In the Bible, Beer Sheva is mentioned several times in connection with the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac . In the first book of Moses it is described how Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech and thus can use a well dug by him undisturbed ( Gen 21,22  EU ). According to the representation of the Bible, the southern border of the Israelite settlement area was later at Be'er Scheva ( Judgment 20.1  EU ).

There are also further references in the Tanakh to Beersheba:

  • Hagar wanders about in the desert near Beersheba (Gen 21:14).
  • Abraham plants a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worships God (Gen 21:33)
  • After the binding of Isaac, Abraham and his servants return to Beersheba (Gen 22:19)
  • After the disputes over wells and water between the shepherds of Isaac and the shepherds of Gerar, Isaac moves to Beersheba (Gen 26:23)
  • Jacob sets out from Beersheba to go to Haran; on this journey he sees the ladder to heaven (Gen. 28:10)
  • Jacob sacrificed on the way to Egypt in Beersheba when he moved to his son Joseph in old age (Gen 46: 1,5)
  • Beersheba lies in the tribal area of ​​Judah (Jos 15.28; Neh 11.27.30) and is inherited from the tribe of Simeon (Jos 19.2; 1Chr 4.28)
  • The assembly of the tribes against Benjamin consists of people from Beersheba (Jud. 20,1)
  • All of Israel - including Beersheba - recognizes the authority of Samuel as a prophet (1 Sam 3:20)
  • The sons of Samuel Joel and Abijah are judges in Beersheba (1 Sam 8,2)
  • Abner wants to claim the area up to Beersheba for David's government (2Sam 3,10)
  • Hushai advises Absalom to gather all Israel, including Beersheba, to fight David (2 Sam 17:11)
  • In David's census, all of Israel including Beersheba is registered (2Sam 24.2.7; 1Chr 21.2), which is why the plague breaks out over all of Israel including Beersheba (2Sam 24.15)
  • The peace in Solomon's time benefits all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba (1 Kings 5.5)
  • Elijah flees from Jezebel via Beersheba - where he leaves his servant - into the desert to die (1 Kings 19: 3)
  • Zibiah, the mother of King Joash of Judah, comes from Beersheba (2 Kings 12: 2; 2 Chr 24: 1)
  • Josiah of Judah destroys the sanctuaries from Gebe to Beersheba (2 Kings 23: 8)
  • Jehoshaphat of Judah brings the people - including Beersheba - back to Adonai (2Chr 19.4)
  • All Israel including Beersheba is to celebrate the Passover again in Jerusalem under Hezekiah of Judah (2Chr 30,5)
  • In the prophetic literature, Beersheba is only mentioned in Am 5,5; 8.14 mentioned

Excavations on the Tell revealed that from 1100 BC A strongly fortified Israelite city existed. The city was also populated in later centuries. The Maccabees , Romans and Byzantines had troops stationed here.

After the Arab conquest in the 7th century, the city fell into disrepair.

20th century

The first measures taken by the Turks led to a new boom in the 20th century: in 1900 an administrative center for the Bedouins of the desert was set up. A few years later, with German participation, today's old town was built with right-angled streets. The motives behind the founding of the city were u. a. the creation of an urban center for better control of the rebel Bedouins and a strategic outpost on the way to the Suez Canal .

Cenotaph for the Ottoman fallen in front of the museum locomotive and the old Be'er Scheva train station , 2015

In order to supply the stationed troops of the Central Powers with the German Levante Corps on the Sinai and Palestine fronts , the Ottoman Military Railroad built the narrow-gauge Maṣʿūdiyya – Sinai line , which reached Be'er Scheva in October 1915.

On October 31, 1917, the British under General Edmund Allenby were able to conquer the city through the 4th Light Cavalry Brigade of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). In Be'er Scheva is the ANZAC military cemetery and the Be'er Scheva war memorial for the fallen Ottoman soldiers.

From Egypt Coming reached the British military train Rafah -Be'er Sheva in standard gauge the train station of the city in May 1918. The British had in 1917 moved the Ottoman narrow gauge railway north to Tulkarm to standard gauge. Both lines were discontinued in 1918 (to the north) and 1927 (to Egypt) due to a lack of traffic.

Beer Sheva around 1950

In 1929, the Jewish population left the city during Arab unrest. Only after the conquest of Be'er Sheva by Israeli troops in the war for Israel's independence in October 1948 did Jews resettle in the city. At this point in time, the city had already been abandoned by the former residents and the Egyptian troops . The Israeli city arms (see above) contain biblical words from Genesis 21:33: (Abraham) "planted a tamarisk in Be'er Sheva."

As a development city , Be'er Scheva managed to develop into a central location in the region. In March 1956, the railway company Rakkevet Israel opened the new Be'er Scheva station (since 1999 with the addition of Zafon / Universita) on its main line from Nahariya , which has been extended to that point and which uses the route of the Ottoman military railway in parts . In 1966 the Ben Gurion University of the Negev was founded, one of the most famous universities in the country.

On May 27, 1979, shortly after the conclusion of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, the Egyptian President Anwar as-Sadat visited the city together with his Vice-President Husni Mubarak , the Israeli President Yitzchak Navon , the Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the US-American Foreign Minister Cyrus Vance . They flew together to Beersheba on the same day after a visit to El Arish on Sinai .

21st century

On February 10, 2002, two Palestinian terrorists shot indiscriminately with rapid-fire rifles from a stolen vehicle in front of the entrance of a military facility at a group of Israeli soldiers who were standing at a kiosk in front of the base . The two soldiers, Lieutenant Keren Rothstein, 20 and Corporal Aya Malachi, 18, were killed in the attack and 20 people were injured.

In bomb attacks on two buses on August 31, 2004, the two attackers killed 18 people and injured at least 35 others. The Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks.

As part of the conflict between Israel and Hamas during Operation Cast Lead at the end of December 2008, Grad rockets of Chinese design fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip reached the city and hit an evacuated kindergarten.

In 2017, the construction of the cyberspark began, in which the university, international companies, the army and the government are to be bundled. This should enable the next step to the digital wonderland .

For the first time, on July 30, 2018, balloons with flammable objects from the Gaza Strip landed in Beersheba. The terror with incendiary kites and balloons, which has been ongoing since March 30, 2018, has so far only affected the adjacent region.


In the censuses of May 22, 1961, May 19, 1972, June 4, 1983, November 4, 1995 and December 28, 2008, the Israeli Central Statistical Office gives the following population figures for Beersheba:

Year of the census 1961 1972 1983 1995 2008 2016
Number of inhabitants 43,516 85.294 110,813 149.404 187.195 205.810


List of mayors

  1. David Tuviahu, 1950-1961
  2. Zeev Zrizi, 1961-1963
  3. Elijahu Navi, 1963-1986
  4. Mosche Silberman, 1986–1989
  5. Itzhak (Itscho) Rager, 1989–1997
  6. David Bunfeld, 1997-1998
  7. Jaacov Terner, 1998-2008
  8. Ruvik Danilovich, since 2008

Culture and sights

The main tourist attraction is a weekly Bedouin market. In the old town there is the Negev Museum , in the house of the Ottoman Governor, and the famous Abraham Fountain .

The old town has been neglected for decades and has only been restored in recent years. It represents a unique example of a planned Ottoman city. The city authorities are trying to revive the place with various initiatives. Various Ottoman monuments have been preserved to this day, including the governor's residence (Negev Museum), the mosque, the old train station, the Bedouin Sheikh children's school, the railway bridge over the Nahal Be'er Sheva , the Sarayi government palace ( "Seraglio"; today police post) as well as several villas in the Ottoman style of the turn of the century.

On the border of the old town is the British military cemetery of the First World War , in which Australian and New Zealand soldiers of the ANZAC Army Corps are also buried. A Turkish memorial was inaugurated in 1999 in honor of the Ottoman war dead.

The city has several buildings of modern architecture. These include the train station in the city center and the train station at the university, the youth culture center in the old town, the new concert hall under construction for the Be'er Sheva Sinfonietta , the UFO- like main building of the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering , the pyramidal main synagogue, the district -Court building, the district government building, several buildings of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the cultural center of Ethiopian Jews , the city administration and the Negev Brigade Monument .

Outside the city, but within the city, is the archaeological excavation of Tell Beersheba . There are many other archaeological sites in the city, but only partially accessible.

Be'er Scheva is crossed in the south by Nahal Be'er Scheva , a large river bed that dried up in the dry season. When there is heavy rain, the floods of the watercourse offer an impressive natural spectacle. The Nahal Be'er Scheva is spanned by a historic Ottoman railway bridge.

There is a small urban zoo in the northwest of the city.

Architecture and urban planning

The Negev Mall Tower

Be'er Scheva, as well as the entire southern region of Israel, has been a test field for modern architecture and planning since modern settlement. The result is partly very successful, partly sobering.

After the old town, which is unique in planning in this region (see above), an attempt was made to implement the model of the garden city in the new quarters. The quarters were separated from each other and should function autonomously. Due to the desert conditions, no gardens developed, so it was later decided to fill in the gaps in the city and to condense the quarters. The very wide streets reflect future growth potential, and some of their capacity is still far too large today.

Attempts were also made to adapt the architecture of the new buildings to the desert conditions. This created kilometers of covered pedestrian walkways and quarters with patio houses and narrow alleys, which guarantee shade and should keep the dust away from the frequent dust storms.

Be'er Scheva is also home to many examples of Le Corbusier's modernism . In general, the city is a prime example of the controversial exposed concrete .

Furthermore, the region around Be'er Scheva is planned hierarchically, according to the various principles of positivist economic geography , which divides the area according to the central locations (according to the theories of the German geographer Walter Christaller ).

After all, the Bedouin satellite cities are a unique example of the transformation from nomads and semi-nomads to sedentary people, in which various new forms of settlement were created more or less successfully.

future plans

The planned maximum population is between 500,000 and 600,000. The area around the city allows for expansion without any problems, with the focus of development being on the north, east and west of the city. In the south, expansion of the industrial areas is planned. Parallel to the spatial expansion, the aim is to densify, renew and revitalize the older quarters.

An urban park of several square kilometers is planned along the Wadi Nahal Be'er Scheva , which should be irrigated with treated sewage . An urban focus should continue to be the university, with adjacent university-related industrial companies (especially biotechnological, based on the “clustering effect”).

Cultural institutions

The city has several cultural institutions with regional, even national appeal:

  • Youth culture center in the old town
  • the Beer Sheva Theater
  • the urban cultural center
  • the city library
  • the conservatory
  • the Yad Labanim Culture and Art Center
  • the Beer Sheva Sinfonietta
  • the Bat-Dor Ballet Center, a branch of the Telaviv Bat-Dor dance troupe
  • a variety of cultural clubs of the immigrant communities (including Latin American, Georgian, Ethiopian, Russian, Anglo-Saxon or Francophone clubs)

In December 2008 a multiplex cinema with twelve halls opened; IMAX films are shown in a hall .


The local football club Hapoel Be'er Scheva won the Israeli national championship twice in the 1970s and in 2016 and the cup competition in 1997 . The first division team played its games in the Arthur Vasermil Stadium, which has a capacity of 13,000, until 2015 . Since it reopened in September 2015, it has been playing in the Turner Stadium, which has a capacity of 16,126 spectators.

Be'er Scheva is considered a chess stronghold. In relation to its population, Be'er Sheva has the most chess grandmasters in the world. In October 2005 the FIDE team chess championship was held in Beersheba.

Economy and Infrastructure


Regional and national bus transport

Be'er Scheva is an important transportation hub in southern Israel. The bus station is one of the largest in Israel and offers connections with the entire southern region as well as with the rest of the country. The lines are operated by the private company Metropoline and the Eggedkooperative .

Urban bus transport

Urban buses are operated by the privatized Metrodan Be'er Scheva company and serve all city districts.

Rail transport

There are two active train stations in the city :

The Rakkevet Israel has hourly connections to Tel Aviv , Haifa and Nahariya . The railway line to Naharija has been double- tracked and straightened as far as Lod , which has reduced the travel time from around 1 hour 20 minutes to 55 minutes.

The spatial planning provides for a tram for the city , the network of which is to extend into the satellite cities. The background to this is the expected exorbitant growth of the city, whose population is expected to increase by a third over the next ten years, which will overwhelm the city's public transport , which is currently based on bus traffic . The Israeli Ministry of Transport has therefore given approval to start planning a first route. It could go into operation in 2025 at the earliest.

Road traffic

The city can be reached from the north via a semi-freeway. The Trans-Israel Highway will reach Beersheba in the future. The section between Ramla and Bet Kama is currently under construction. Six access roads reach the city in a star shape: from Kirjat Gat in the north, Ashkelon in the northwest, Kibbutz Khazerim in the west, Mitzpe Ramon in the south, Dimona in the southeast and Hebron in the northeast. An eastern bypass makes it unnecessary to cross the city and is part of a future motorway ring.

Air traffic

In the north-west of the city is the Sde Teiman airfield . This does not serve commercial domestic flights. It is mainly used by private aviation. In the west is the important military airfield Chazerim . The well-known Museum of the Israeli Air Force is located there. To the east, between Be'er Sheva and Dimona , lies the large military airfield Nevatim .


  • Chemical industry: ICL
  • Processing industry
  • mechanical engineering
  • trade
  • medicine
  • Service center
  • Administrative center
  • Traffic center
  • Academic research and development
  • education
  • In Gav Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park on the outskirts of the city, many settled Start-up companies security Cyber on the topic. This industrial settlement is supported by state tax breaks.
  • Tourism only plays a subordinate role; congress tourism is important because of the university


With the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), founded in 1966, Be'er Scheva has one of the most famous universities in the country.

The city is home to other academic institutes:

A total of around 25,000 people were studying in Beersheba in 2017.


Soroka Hospital

The Soroka Hospital , located in the city, is of national importance. It serves the entire southern region of the country and is a center of top-class medicine. Around 14,000 children are born there every year, making it the hospital with the highest birth rate in Israel. It is also a university clinic .

There is a large psychiatric clinic in the north of the city.


In the south of the city is the Beer Sheva prison , a maximum security prison.


Town twinning

Web links

Commons : Beersheba  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. אוכלוסייה ביישובים 2018 (population of the settlements 2018). (XLSX; 0.13 MB) Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , August 25, 2019, accessed May 11, 2020 .
  2. אוכלוסייה ביישובים 2018 (population of the settlements 2018). (XLSX; 0.13 MB) Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , August 25, 2019, accessed May 11, 2020 .
  3. Australians and New Zealanders remember Victory in Beersheba , accessed on November 4, 2017.
  4. Be'er Scheva commemorates the historic Sadat visit. In: Israelnetz .de. May 27, 2019, accessed June 2, 2019 .
  5. Assassination attempt in Beershev, 18 and 20-year-old female soldiers shot. In: Israelnetz .de. February 11, 2002, accessed July 26, 2019 .
  6. ^ Newsletter of the Israeli Embassy. In: Israeli Embassy in Berlin . February 11, 2015, accessed August 5, 2019 .
  7. Kölner Stadtanzeiger. September 1, 2004, p. 1.
  8. Rockets reach Beersheba, cause damage
  9. Why startups from Israel are conquering a global future market. July 7, 2017, accessed April 3, 2020 .
  10. First sighting of fire balloons in Beersheba. In: , July 31, 2018, accessed on August 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
  12. In 55 minutes from Tel Aviv to Be'er Sheva July 16, 2012, accessed on May 24, 2017th
  13. Jeremaya Goldberg: [message] from the International Railway Journal July 11, 2017. Reprinted in: Harakevet , No. 118 (September 2017).. ISSN  0964-8763 , p. 13.
  14. Angela Gruber: Israel's IT Industry: Why Cyber ​​Cracks Move To The Desert. April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018 .
  15. of March 8, 2018: A booming city