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Ramla travel guide — Ramla tourism and travel information

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about Ramla

Ramla (Hebrew רמלהRamlāh; Arabic الرملة ar-Ramlah, colloquial Ramleh), is a city in the Center District of Israel in Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), at the end of 2001 the city had a total population of 62,000.

Ramla history

According to the 9th century Arab geographer Ya'kubi, ar-Ramlah (Ramle) was founded in 716 by the Khalifa Sulaimen, with an initial population of persons moved from Ludd (Lydda, Lod). Ramle flourished as the capital of Jund Filastin, which was one of the five districts of the ash-Sham (Syrian) province of the Arab-Muslim empire. Later the capital moved to Jerusalem and Ramle lost its political importance while remaining a major town. Its economic importance, shared with its near-neighbor Lydda, was based on its location at the intersection of Palestine's two major roads, one linking Egypt with Syria and the other linking Jerusalem with the coast. After the First Crusade Ramle became the seat of a seigneury in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

At the start of the Ottoman period, Ramle was described as a large town which lay mostly in ruins, with a small population. In the year 1548, it was recorded to have 528 Muslim and 82 Christian households. Not much change in this size or composition occurred until late in the 19th century, when a period of expansion began. During the British Mandate, the population grew steadily, up to about 12,000 Muslims and 3,000 Christians in 1944. Until 1948 there were very few Jewish inhabitants.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Ramle's geographical location (especially its position on the main supply route to the Jerusalem region) made it an inevitable point of conflict, and it was attacked by Jewish forces beginning in May. These initial attacks were unsuccessful, but a more determined attack during Operation Dani led to Ramle's capture on July 11-12, 1948. Except for about 1,000 Arabs, mostly Christian or having prior dealings with Jews, those residents of the town who had not fled already were forcibly expelled on Ben-Gurion's orders.

The Israeli government immediately saw the nearly depopulated town as a source of housing for the many Jewish immigrants who were beginning to arrive, and started to use the abandoned Arab houses for this purpose in November 1948. By February 1949 the Jewish population had passed 6,000. Nevertheless, Ramle and Lydda (now called Ramla and Lod) remained relatively economically depressed for the next two decades. The population in 1972 was 34,000.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ramla".

This city is also known as: Ramla רמלה.

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