Mevaseret Zion
Mevaseret Zion is a suburb of Jerusalem, Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Mevaseret Zion is composed of two distinct townships, Maoz Zion and Mevaseret Yerushalayim—under the jurisdiction of one local council. The newer neighborhoods of Mevaseret Zion were not part of either settlement.

Mevaseret Zion is located on a mountain ridge 750 meters above sea level, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. It is ten kilometers from the city, straddling both sides of the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv highway
Highway 1 (Israel)
Highway 1 , is the main highway connecting Tel Aviv with Jerusalem.-History:The section between Latrun and Jerusalem roughly follows an ancient path connecting Jaffa and Jerusalem...

. It has a population of 22,800 residents distributed over 15 neighborhoods. It is the wealthiest municipality per capita in the Jerusalem District
Jerusalem District
The Jerusalem District is one of six administrative districts of Israel. The district capital is Jerusalem. The Jerusalem District has a land area of 652 km². The population of 910,300 is 67.8% Jewish and 30.6% Arab...

. Mevaseret Zion's current Mayor is Arye Shamam.


Due to its strategic location, settlement in the area of Mevaseret Zion goes back to antiquity. The Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 built a fortress there, known as Castellum. On the ruins of this fortress, the Crusaders
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch that competes in the Super Rugby competition. They are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with seven titles...

 built a castle, Castellum Belveer, which still stands today. An Arab village, Coloniya, grew up around this spot. The muhktar's house was built on the hilltop, on the ruins of the Crusader castle.

During the British Mandate of Palestine, the British referred to this district as "The Castle", dropping the "t" as is customary in English. The Arabs called it al-Qastal
Al-Qastal was a Palestinian village that was depopulated in the lead up the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.- History :Under the name of Belveer or Beauverium, Qastal belonged to the Hospitalers by c. 1168 and was listed amongst the castles supposedly destroyed by al-Adil in 1191–2...

, pronouncing the "t." The Jews called it "Hacastel" ("the Castel").

In Israel's War of Independence
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

 in 1948, fierce battles that claimed many lives took place here as Arabs and Jews fought for control of the Castel, which overlooked the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. The Castel exchanged hands several times in the course of the fighting. The tides turned when the revered Arab commander, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle, , which he and Hasan Salama commanded as the Army of the Holy War during the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt and during the 1948...

, was killed. Many of the Arabs left their positions to attend al-Husayni's funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

 on Friday, April 9. That same day, the Castel fell to the Israeli forces, virtually unopposed.

Maoz Zion ("Stronghold of Zion") was established in 1951 to house new immigrants from Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Kurdistan, North Africa and Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 who had been living in a ma'abara
The Ma'abarot were refugee absorption camps in Israel in the 1950s. The Ma'abarot were meant to provide accommodation for the large influx of Jewish refugees and new Olim arriving to the newly independent State of Israel, replacing the less habitable immigrant camps or tent cities...

, or transit camp, at the foot of the Castel. Many were employed at the nearby Solel Boneh stone quarry.

Mevaseret Yerushalayim was established east of Ma'oz Zion in 1956 by Jewish immigrants from North Africa. It was located on a ridge near the armistice line, north of Motza
Motza ת is a neighbourhood in the western edge of Jerusalem, Israel, located 600 metres above sea level. In the Judean Hills, surrounded by forest, it is a relatively isolated place connected to Jerusalem by the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway and the winding mountain road to Har Nof...

. The residents worked in the fruit orchards in the Arazim Valley.

In 1963, Maoz Zion and Mevaseret Yerushalayim formed a joint local council, which was called Mevaseret Zion. The source of the name comes from the Book of Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

: "על הר גבוה עלי לך מבשרת ציון" ("Ascend a lofty mountain, O herald of joy to Zion") (Isaiah 40:9).

Institutions and landmarks

The embassies of Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 and Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 are located in Mevaseret Zion.
Har'el shopping mall is located in the entrance to town. It is known for having the first kosher Mcdonalds in the world.


Mevasseret Zion has 3 secular grade schools, one junior-high school and a high school, "Tichon Har'el". It also holds two religious schools.

Yeshivat Sha'arei Mevasseret Zion is located in Mevasseret Zion.


In April-May 2003, an archeological salvage dig carried out on Nahal Sorek Street in Mevaseret Zion unearthed an ancient burial cave dating from the mid-Second Temple Period.


Mevasseret Zion holds both a soccer team and a basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 team, both playing for low leagues.

Hapoel Mevasseret Zion-Abu Ghosh
Abu Ghosh
Abu Ghosh is an Israeli Arab town in Israel, located west of Jerusalem on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. It is situated 610–720 meters above sea level. In 2010, it set the Guinness World Record for largest dish of hummus...

, plays for Israel´s Liga bet
Liga Bet
-History:League football started in Israel in 1949–50, a year after independence. However, the financial and security crises gripping the young nation caused the 1950–51 season to be abandoned before it had started. When football resumed in 1951–52, the new top division went by the name of Liga...

, Israel's 4th league. Started as Hapoel Mevasseret Zion and then united with Ironi Abu Ghosh, and became the first Israeli team mixed from an Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 village and a Jewish town. In 2007 Mevasseret-Abu Ghosh was united with Hapoel Katamon, and then separated again. The team is built of Arab and Jewish players, and participated in international friendly tournaments for peace.
The team plays in local soccer field called "Hamigrash Hayarok" Which means in Hebrew, the green field. The capacity is about 200 people.

Hapoel Mevasseret Zion basketball plays also for Liga Bet. The team plays in the local basketball court with a capacity of 300 seats.

Notable residents

  • Rachel Adato
    Rachel Adato
    Dr Rachel Adato-Levy is an Israeli gynaecologist, lawyer and politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Kadima.-Biography:...

  • Aharon Appelfeld
    Aharon Appelfeld
    -Biography:Appelfeld was born in the village of Zhadova near Czernowitz, Romania, now Ukraine. In 1941, when he was eight years old, the Romanian army invaded his hometown and his mother was murdered. Appelfeld was deported with his father to a concentration camp in Ukraine. He escaped and hid for...

  • Ran Cohen
    Ran Cohen
    Ran Cohen is an Israeli politician and former Knesset member for Meretz-Yachad. He is a resident of Mevaseret Zion and married with four children....

  • David Grossman
    David Grossman
    David Grossman is an Israeli author. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have won numerous prizes.He is also a noted activist and critic of Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The Yellow Wind, his non-fiction study of the life of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied...

  • Matan Vilnai
    Matan Vilnai
    Matan Vilnai is an Israeli politician and a former Major General in the Israel Defense Forces . He is currently Minister for Home Front Defense and a member of the Knesset for Independence.-Biography:...

  • Yuval Steinitz
    Yuval Steinitz
    Yuval Steinitz , is an Israeli academic and politician who has been a Knesset member for Likud since 1999. He is now the Finance Minister of Israel.-Biography:...

  • Charlie Biton
    Charlie Biton
    Charlie-Shalom Biton is a former Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Hadash and the Black Panthers between 1977 and 1992.-Biography:Born in Casablanca in Morocco, Biton made aliyah to Israel in 1949 at the age of two...

External links

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