Be’er Sheva

Tel Be'er Sheva Overview 2007041

Synonyms:
Beer-sheba, b’-AYR SHE-va, בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע
Beersheba (Wikipedia)

Beersheba
  • בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע
    بئر السبع
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Also spelledBe'er Sheva' (official)
Beer Sheva (unofficial)
Beersheba City Hall 6.jpg
BSNU.jpg
בית המושל באר שבע.jpg
Beer Sheba Israel IMG 6795.JPG
Kikar Hamitnadvim, Beersheba.jpg
Be'er Sheva at night.jpg
From Upper left: Beersheba City Hall, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Negev Museum of Art, view of down town, Volunteers square, Be'er Sheva at night.
Coat of arms of Beersheba.svg
Logo
Beersheba is located in Israel
Beersheba
Beersheba
Coordinates: 31°15′32″N 34°47′59″E / 31.25889°N 34.79972°E / 31.25889; 34.79972Coordinates: 31°15′32″N 34°47′59″E / 31.25889°N 34.79972°E / 31.25889; 34.79972
Country Israel
DistrictSouthern
Founded4000 BC (Tel Be'er Sheva)
1900 (The new city)
Government
 • TypeCity
 • MayorRuvik Danilovich
Area
 • Total117,500 dunams (117.5 km2 or 45.4 sq mi)
Elevation260 m (850 ft)
Population (2017)
 • Total207,551
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
Name meaningWell of the Oath or Seven Wells(see also)
Websitewww.beer-sheva.muni.il

Beersheba, also Be'er Sheva (/bɪərˈʃbə/; Hebrew: בְּאֵר שֶׁבַעAbout this sound Be'er Sheva [be.eʁˈʃeva]), is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Israel, the eighth most populous Israeli city with a population of 207,551, and the second largest city with a total area of 117,500 dunams (after Jerusalem).

With an ancient history dating back to the Biblical period, the modern history of Beersheba began at the start of the 20th century when a permanent settlement was established by the Ottoman Turks. The city was captured by the British led Australian Light Horse during World War I. In 1947, Bir Seb'a (Arabic: بئر السبع‎), as it was known, was envisioned as part of the Arab state in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Following the declaration of Israel's independence, the Egyptian army amassed its forces in Beersheba as a strategic and logistical base. In the Battle of Beersheba waged in October 1948, it was conquered by the Israel Defense Forces.

Beersheba has grown considerably since Israel's independence. A large portion of the population is made up of the descendants of Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews who immigrated from Arab countries after 1948, as well as smaller communities of Bene Israel and Cochin Jews from India. Second and third waves of immigration have taken place since 1990, bringing Russian-speaking Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as well as Beta Israel immigrants from Ethiopia. The Soviet immigrants have made the game of chess a major sport in Beersheba and the city is now a developing technology center. The city is now Israel's national chess center, with more chess grandmasters per capita than any other city in the world.

Beersheba is home to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. This city also serves as a center for Israel's high-tech industry.

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