Afula – An Ancient Israelite Town of Ofel

Afula – is a city in the Northern District of Israel, often known as the “Capital of the Valley” due to its strategic location in the Jezreel Valley.

Afula has been identified with the ancient Israelite town of Ofel mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. With the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, the area continued to be inhabited, and excavations have revealed artifacts from the periods of Persian and Roman rule.

In 1838, Edward Robinson described both Afuleh and the adjacent El Fuleh as “deserted”. William McClure Thomson, in a book published in 1859, noted that Afuleh and the adjacent El Fuleh, were “both now deserted, though both were inhabited twenty-five years ago when I first passed this way.” Thomson blamed their desertion on the bedouin.

In 1909 or 1910, Yehoshua Hankin completed his first major purchase in the Jezreel Valley. He bought some 10,000 dunams (10 km²) of land in Al-Fuleh (now Afula)

In 1925, modern Afula was founded after the American Zionist Commonwealth completed a purchase of the Afula valley from the Sursuk family of Beirut. Jews began settling in Afula shortly after as the town developed.

2016 Census – 49,169

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