Districts of Israel

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Source [4] had more precise population data for the 1972 census, so I replaced the round numbers formerly listed under Population history. The total population exceeds the sum of the district populations by 145,600, probably because it includes "data for East Jerusalem and Israeli residents in certain other territories under occupation by Israeli military forces since June 1967."

Country overview: 

Short nameISRAEL
ISO codeIL
LanguageHebrew (he)
Time zone+2 ~


The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are listed under Palestine in this work, merely because the international standard has issued a code for "Occupied Palestinian Territory". No inference should be drawn about the actual or rightful status of these territories.

Note: The government of the State of Israel has designated Jerusalem as the capital, and most government offices are located there. However, U.N. Resolution 478 denies the legality of this action. Consequently, most other countries regard Tel Aviv-Yafo as the capital and maintain their embassies there.

In 1900, the land now contained in Israel was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of World War I, as the Ottoman Empire shattered, Palestine was one of the pieces. It became a British mandate under the League of Nations on 1923-09-29. After World War II, the United Nations drew up plans to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Israel, the Jewish state, was created on 1948-05-14, as the British withdrew from their mandate. Initially, its borders conformed to the U.N. plan. War broke out almost immediately between Arabs and Jews. When fighting stopped in 1949-01, the territory controlled by Israel had grown to approximately the size of the six modern districts. During the Six-Day War (1967-06-05 to 1967-06-10), Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula (later restored to Egypt), the Golan Heights (eventually annexed, but internationally viewed as occupied territory), the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Israel
  2. Dutch: Israël, Staat Israël (formal)
  3. English: State of Israel (formal)
  4. Finnish: Israel
  5. French: Israël m
  6. German: Israel n
  7. Hebrew: Medinat Israel (formal)
  8. Icelandic: Ísrael
  9. Italian: Israele m
  10. Norwegian: Israel, Staten Israel (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Israel, Estado m de Israel (formal)
  12. Russian: Государство Израиль (formal)
  13. Spanish: Israel, Estado m de Israel (formal)
  14. Swedish: Israel
  15. Turkish: İsrail Devleti (formal)

Origin of name: 

inhabited by tribe of Israel, i.e., descendents of the Biblical patriarch Israel (about 18th cent. B.C.)

Primary subdivisions: 

Israel is divided into six mehozot (sing. mehoz: districts).

Tel AvivIL.TATAIS051,258,77017066Tel Aviv
6 districts7,412,18027,74310,713

Postal codes: 

Israel uses five-digit postal codes. Postal codes for Israeli addresses may be identified by prefixing them with "ISL-", but this is rare.

Further subdivisions:

See the Subdistricts of Israel page.

The districts are divided into subdistricts.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Israel lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. HaDarom: Hebrew for Southern
  2. Haifa: from Hebrew kef: cliff
  3. HaMerkaz: Hebrew for Central
  4. HaZafon: Hebrew for Northern
  5. Jerusalem: probably Sumerian uru: city, Hebrew shalem: peace
  6. Tel Aviv: Hebrew tel: hill, aviv: spring (the season)

Change history: 

  1. In 1900, the land now contained in Israel was part of the vilayets of Beirut, Hejaz, and Jerusalem.
  2. In 1923, Palestine was created as a British mandate, with almost exactly the same borders as Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank combined. Palestine had several different administrative divisions during the mandate period. At the end, it consisted of the districts of Galilee and Acre, Gaza, Haifa, Jerusalem, Lydda, and Samaria.
  3. 1949-02-24: Gaza Strip placed under Egyptian administration
  4. 1950-04-24: West Bank, consisting of most of Jerusalem and Samaria and a small part of Lydda, annexed to Jordan. Samaria became Nablus (Nabulus) district in Jordan. The southwestern part of Jerusalem became Hebron (Al-Khalil) district. The remainder of the area became Jerusalem (Al-Quds) district.
  5. ~1952: Israel reorganized into the present six districts. HaZafon formed from Galilee and Acre and small parts of Haifa and Samaria. Haifa formed from most of Haifa and a small part of Samaria. HaMerkaz formed from a large part of Lydda and small parts of Samaria and Gaza. Tel Aviv formed from part of Lydda. Jerusalem formed from parts of former Jerusalem and Lydda. HaDarom formed from most of Gaza and a small part of former Jerusalem.
  6. ~1962: Tel Aviv, capital of Tel Aviv district, merged with neighboring Jaffa, becoming Tel Aviv-Jaffa (Tel Aviv-Yafo).
  7. 1967-06-10: At the end of the Six-Day War, the Jordanian districts of Hebron, Jerusalem, and Nablus had become the Israeli-occupied territory of the West Bank. The Gaza Strip remained territorially intact, but was now administered by Israel rather than the U.A.R. (Egypt). Also, a formerly neutral zone around `Auja el Hafir in the Negev was annexed to HaDarom.
  8. 1967-06-28: Old City of Jerusalem unilaterally annexed by Israel to the Jerusalem district.
  9. 1980-07-30: East Jerusalem area of the West Bank unilaterally annexed by Israel to the Jerusalem district.
  10. 1981-12-14: Golan Heights in Syria, occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War, unilaterally annexed to HaZafon.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. HaDarom: Southern (variant)
  2. Haifa: Hefa (Hebrew)
  3. HaMerkaz: Central (variant)
  4. HaZafon: Northern (variant)
  5. Jerusalem: Al-Quds (Arabic); Gerusalemme (Italian); Jérusalem (French); Jerusalém (Portuguese); Jerusalén (Spanish); Yerushalayim (Hebrew); Иерусалим (Russian)

Population history:

Tel Aviv301,745907,2381,141,9001,258,770


Differences between column totals and figures in the Total row usually represent Israeli citizens residing in the occupied territories.


  1. [1] Statistical Abstract of Israel 1987. Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem, 1987.
  2. [2] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  3. [3] 2008 Census Data , Central Bureau of Statistics website (retrieved 2011-11-26).
  4. [4] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
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