|Districts of Israel|
מְחוֹזוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל (Hebrew)
ولايات اسرائيل (Arabic)
|Location||State of Israel|
|Populations||1,032,800 (Haifa) – 2,196,900 (Central District)|
|Areas||190 km2 (72 sq mi) (Tel Aviv) – 14,190 km2 (5,477 sq mi) (Southern District)|
There are six main administrative districts of Israel, known in Hebrew as mekhozot (מְחוֹזוֹת; singular: makhoz מָחוֹז) and Arabic as mintaqah and fifteen sub-districts known as nafot (נָפוֹת; singular: nafa נָפָה). Each sub-district is further divided into natural regions, cities, municipalities, and regional councils it contains.
The present division into districts was established in 1953, to replace the divisions inherited from the British Mandate. It has remained substantially the same ever since; a second proclamation of District boundaries issued in 1957 – which remains in force as of 2022 – only affirmed the existing boundaries in place.
The figures in this article are based on numbers from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and so include all places under Israeli civilian rule including those Israeli-occupied territories where this is the case. Therefore, the Golan sub-district and its four natural regions are included in the number of sub-districts and natural regions even though it is not recognized by the United Nations or the international community as Israeli territory. Similarly, the population figure below for the Jerusalem District was calculated including East Jerusalem whose annexation by Israel is similarly not recognized by the United Nations and the international community. The Judea and Samaria Area, however, is not included in the number of districts and sub-districts as Israel has not applied its civilian jurisdiction in that part of the West Bank.
The districts have no elected institutions of any kind, although they do possess councils composed of representatives of central government ministries and local authorities for planning and building purposes. Their administration is undertaken by a District Commissioner appointed by the Minister of the Interior. Each district also has a District Court.
Since the District Commissioners are considered part of the Ministry of the Interior's bureaucracy, they can only exercise functions falling within the purview of other ministries if the appropriate Minister authorizes them. This authorization is rarely granted, as other government ministries and institutions (for example, the Ministry of Health and the Police) establish their own divergent systems of districts.
Jerusalem District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, Mehoz Yerushalayim)
District capital: Jerusalem.[a]
Northern District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז הַצָּפוּן, Mehoz HaTzafon)
District capital: Nof Hagalil
Haifa District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז חֵיפָה, Mehoz Heifa)
District capital: Haifa
Central District (מְחוֹז הַמֶּרְכָּז, Mehoz HaMerkaz)
District capital: Ramla
Tel Aviv District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז תֵּל־אָבִיב, Mehoz Tel Aviv)
District capital: Tel Aviv
Southern District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז הַדָּרוֹם, Mehoz HaDarom)
District Capital: Beersheba
Formerly the Hof Aza Regional Council with a population of around 10,000 Israelis was part of this district, but the Israeli communities that constituted it were evacuated when the disengagement plan was implemented in the Gaza Strip. Since the withdrawal, the Coordination and Liaison Administration operates there.
Judea and Samaria Area (Hebrew: אֵזוֹר יְהוּדָה וְשׁוֹמְרוֹן, Ezor Yehuda VeShomron)
Largest city: Modi'in Illit
The name Judea and Samaria for this geographical area is based on terminology from the Hebrew and other sources relating to ancient Israel and Judah/Judea. The territory has been under Israeli control since the 1967 Six-Day War but not annexed by Israel, pending negotiations regarding its status. It is part of historic Israel, which leads to politically contentious issues. However, it is not recognized as part of the State of Israel by the United Nations and most nations.
There are no sub-districts and no natural regions in the Judea and Samaria Area.
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