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Ashdod (אשדוד, Standard Hebrew Ašdod, Tiberian Hebrew ʾAšdôḏ; Arabic إسدود Isdūd) is a port city in Israel located halfway between Tel Aviv and Gaza, in the Southern District of Israel. The ancient Greeks called it Azotus.
The modern city of Ashdod, established near the ruins of the Palestinian village and the Philistine city in 1956, lies in a plain on an important road axis and is located a short distance from Tel Aviv (35 Km), from Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva (70 Km). It sports the largest and most commercially-active seaport in Israel, after Haifa, and is a focal point of both national and international shipping.
In the city jurisdiction there are over 60,000 dunams (60 km²) and land reserves for a total area of 74,000 dunams (74 km²). Ashdod's master plan divides the city into 17 residential quarters.
Most of the city inhabitants find their livelihood in the city and enjoy high standard municipal services. The mild climate and geographic location turn the city into one of the attractive cities in Israel, to the degree that many of the newcomers and citizens of various settlements request to make Ashdod their home. The population growth rate in Ashdod is the highest in Israel. The city which started with 22 families of newcomers currently has 196,000 inhabitants. Approximately 38% of its residents are newcomers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Ethiopia, France, Latin America and other countries, who have settled in the city during the 1990s.
In the last ten years the city has developed and became the fifth largest city in Israel. With a growth rate of about 9,000 inhabitants per year, the city may number about 225,000 residents in 2005.
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This city is also known as: Ashdod אשדוד.