How Netanya Became a City
1926 A meeting of the Bnei Binyamin association in Zichron Yaacov leads to the decision to create a new settlement.
1928 Oved Ben Ami and Itamar Ben Avi inform the American philanthropist, Nathan Strauss, that they have established a new settlement in Israel in his honor. On his return from the United States, Oved Ben Ami establishes the Hanote’a company together with Gad Mahnas and Baruh Ram.
Members of Bnei Binyamin and Hanote’a purchase 350 acres of Umm Haled lands
On December 14, 1928 a team led by Moshe Shaked arrives at Umm Haled and digs a well.
1929 In February after two months of digging, water is found.
On February 18, 1929, the city's official birthday, the first five settlers move onto the land and plow it for the first time. The settlers live in tents.
June: Land is being divided among the settlers.
August: The “Tarpat” riot and massacre cause the settlement to be abandoned for two weeks.
September – With the arrival of Sukkot the cornerstone is laid for the first 10 houses in Netanya.
1930 The first kindergarten and the first shop open in Netanya.
1931 The first school is established to accomodate the now 100 settlers.
Residents of Netanya B arrive in Netanya.
1933 Oved Ben Ami, Baruch Ram and Gad Mahnas establish the “Society for Development of the Netanya coastline.”
The British architect, Holiday, rolls out a board plan for Netanya to become a tourist city. The plan divides Netanya into three sections: the tourist district along the coast, housing, farms and commercial establishments in the center, and orchards and industry to the east.
The Tel-Aviv Hotel, the first hotel in Netanya, is built.
The Ben Zion and Geva neighborhoods are established.
The village of Kfar Tiomkin is established near Netanya.
1934 The first ship of illegal immigrants arrives at Netanya's shores with 350 immigrants. Illegal immigration operations continue untill 1939. During that period 17 ships arrive to Netanya's shores and the surrounding shorelines. Netanya residents assist immigrants, and most of the operations are successful.
“Primazon” the first industrial factory for producing fruit and vegetable preserves opens in Netanya. Shortly afterwards, the first industrial area is set up in Yahalom and Zangwil Streets.
The large and luxurious Shone Halahot Synagogue is built.
Bialik School, the first school in the thriving "moshava" is inaugurated.
1936 Drying out the swamp at Palik Creek is complete. Outbreaks of malaria are wiped out.
The corner stone is laid for the new commercial center in Netanya.
Kibbutz Mizpe Hayam is established.
The Ein Hatchelet neighborhood is established.
1937 On May 12,1937 in the presence of the high British High Commissioner, Sir Wakop, the King George Garden on the seafront is established and a city square named in honor of the commissioner(Ha’Azmaut Square)
On May 20, 1937 the roadwork is completed on Netanya-Tul Karem road, which is connected to the Tel Aviv-Haifa road (the old road). Netanya is no longer isolated and tourism flourishes in the city. The “Bustenai” newspaper reports:”…and a person who has never visited Netanya and hasn't walked its beaches during bathing hours should be ashamed. Buses bring guests from Tel Aviv five times a day...”
Itamar Ben Avi and Aaron Even Hen establish the first library named after Dvora Ben Yehuda.
1938 The Netanya council establishes the Relaxation and Healing Commission for the purpose of developing tourism in the settlement.
The Esther cultural hall is established.
The Be’eri School is established for the children of the city's employees.
1939 The diamond industry comes to Netanya. The first factory Ofir is established
The Histadrut House on Smilanski Street opens its doors.
1940 Netanya receives a township status from the British Government. As head of council Oved Ben Ami is elected Head of Council.
1942 The King of Greece pays a visit to Netanya.
1944 The settlement of Neve Itamar is created, later becoming a neighborhood.
1945 The first high school opens in Netanya, named after the national poet Tchernihovski.
1946 The central football field is opened, known as “The Box.”
1947 Two British intelligence sergeants are kidnapped by the Etzel, Israeli's underground military organization, on July 11, 1947. On July 27, 1947 the sergeants are hung in response to the hanging of three members of Etzel.
On November 30, 1947 an Egged bus which left Netanya bound for Jerusalem is attacked by Arabs in the Petah Tikvah area. The U.N. reponds on November 29, 1947 with a decision to divide Israel into two countries.
1948 The British army leaves Netanya. With the outbreak of the War of Independence a central military base is established in Netanya. The Alexandroni unit is responsible for the area.
Post war agreements place the Sharon region and Netnya in the center of the newly established State of Israel
On December 3, 1948 Netanya receives city status and is the first city to be announced after the establishment of the State of Israel. It has 9000 residents.
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