Afula was founded in 1925, and is located in the center of the Jezreel Valley, on the main junction of the roads between the coast, the Samaria Mountains, the Lower Galilee and the Jordan Valley.
“The Capital of the Valley” is an anchor and an urban center for the settlements and residents of the valley, and provides key services to all the settlements in the region. The city has an industrial zone that includes several large factories. Emek Medical Center, located in the city, services residents throughout the area and the north.
Afula is located 12 km from the Palestinian city of Jenin, and has always been a target for terrorist organizations because of its location and accessibility.
Afula has approximately 42,000 residents, spread in the city’s 3 main areas: Afula Illit, Givat HaMoreh and the City. In the 1990’s the city absorbed thousands of immigrants from Ethiopia and the FSU. Approximately 30% of the city’s residents are new immigrants.
The city boasts a rich array of cultural and recreational activities, including theater, art and music.
Gilboa Regional Council
The Gilboa Regional Council was founded in 1949, and is comprised of 32 settlements: 8 kibbutzim, 14 moshavim, 5 community villages and 5 Arab villages.
The history of the settlements in the region is intertwined with the history of the valley, from the establishment of the first kibbutzim in the 1920’s, through the waves of Aliyah from North Africa that founded the moshavim in the Ta’anach, and the establishment in 1987 of Gan Ner, a community village.
The Gilboa Regional Council has approximately 23,000 residents, 40% of them Israeli Arabs.
The Kibbutzim and Moshavim cultivate various branches of agriculture. In addition, there are several factories from various industries. Many of the Regional Council’s residents find employment outside of the regional council.
Cultural and recreational activities take place in the individual settlements. In addition, the Regional Council offers various sports and cultural activities for children and adults. The Regional Council sponsors annual regional events that attract crowds from around the country.