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Haifa(hī`fä), city (1994 pop. 246,700), NW Israel, a port on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of Mt. Carmel. Haifa is the chief city of N Israel and the country's principal oil refining center. Along with AshdodAshdod
[Heb.,=stronghold], city (1994 pop. 120,100), SW Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is Israel's leading port after Haifa. Construction is Ashdod's main industry; its manufactures include synthetic fibers, woolen yarn, and knitted goods.
..... Click the link for more information. , Haifa is one of Israel's main ports and handles oceangoing vessels, including oil tankers. Industries include steel, shipbuilding, textiles, chemicals, high-tech electronics, and food processing. Haifa is known to have existed by the 3d cent. A.D. but was of little importance during early Muslim times. The Crusaders, who called it Caiffa or Caiphas, developed it commercially. Destroyed by SaladinSaladin
, Arabic Salah ad-Din, 1137?–1193, Muslim warrior and Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, the great opponent of the Crusaders, b. Mesopotamia, of Kurdish descent.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1191, it began to revive in the late 18th cent. The city's main growth occurred in the 20th cent. with the development of its port. Haifa was contested by Jews and Arabs in the 1948–49 war because of its industrial importance. By the late 20th cent. the city's population was largely Jewish, although Muslims, Christians, and Druze continued to live in the area. Haifa was a target of Iraqi missiles during the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.
The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
..... Click the link for more information. and Hezbollah missiles launched from S Lebanon in 2006. Haifa Univ. and the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology; est. 1924) are there. Haifa is the world center of Baha'iBaha'i
, religion founded by Baha Ullah (born Mirza Huseyn Ali Nuri) and promulgated by his eldest son, Abdul Baha (1844–1921). It is a doctrinal outgrowth of Babism, with Baha Ullah as the Promised One of the earlier religion.
..... Click the link for more information. and the site of the shrine of Bab and a Baha'i temple.
a city in Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. Population 225,800 (December 1974). Israel’s chief port, Haifa handled 4.7 million tons of freight in 1975. The city is a railroad and highway junction. Industry is represented by oil refining, ferrous metallurgy, metalworking, food processing, and the production of textiles, glass, cement, and motor vehicles. Haifa also has chemical and rubber industries. It is the terminus of an oil pipeline from Elath.
The remains of a Crusader fortress and of a hospital (1964) are noteworthy. The modern city stretches from the port, where the city’s industrial and business areas are located, to the top of Mount Carmel. Wealthy residential areas with private houses are found on the slopes of the mountain. The complex of the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) is of particular interest; notable are the buildings of the faculty of aeronautical engineering (1953–54) and the Coastal and Ocean Engineering Center (1957–58). Haifa has museums of ancient, modern, and Japanese art.