Districts of Israel
מְחוֹזוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל‎ (Hebrew)
ولايات اسرائيل (Arabic)
CategoryUnitary State
LocationState of Israel
Number6 Districts
Populations1,032,800 (Haifa) – 2,196,900 (Central District)
Areas190 km2 (72 sq mi) (Tel Aviv) – 14,190 km2 (5,477 sq mi) (Southern District)
  • District government
Districts, Sub-Districts and Natural Regions of the State of Israel, 2018
Population density by natural region, sub-district and district in 2018 (thicker border indicates higher tier).

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,[1][2] which in turn are further divided into council-level divisions: whether they might be cities, municipalities, or regional councils.

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 2023 – 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[3] 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.[3] This authorization is rarely granted, as other government ministries and institutions (for example, the Ministry of Health[4] and the Police[5]) establish their own divergent systems of districts.

Jerusalem District

Jerusalem District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, Mehoz Yerushalayim)

Population (EoY 2018): 1,133,700[6]
Area: 653 km2[7]

District capital: Jerusalem.[a]

Natural regions:

Generali Building houses the offices of the Jerusalem District Administration

Northern District

Northern District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז הַצָּפוּן, Mehoz HaTzafon)

Population (EoY 2018): 1,448,100[6]
Area: 4,473 km2[7]

District capital: Nof Hagalil

Haifa District

Haifa District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז חֵיפָה, Mehoz Heifa)

Population (EoY 2018): 1,032,800[6]
Area: 866 km2[7]

District capital: Haifa

Central District

Central District (מְחוֹז הַמֶּרְכָּז‎, Mehoz HaMerkaz)

Population (EoY 2018): 2,196,100[6]
Area: 1,294 km2[7]

District capital: Ramla

Tel Aviv District

Tel Aviv District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז תֵּל־אָבִיב, Mehoz Tel Aviv)

Population (EoY 2018): 1,427,200[6]
Area: 172 km2[7]

District capital: Tel Aviv

Southern District

Southern District (Hebrew: מְחוֹז הַדָּרוֹם, Mehoz HaDarom)

Population (EoY 2018): 1,302,000[6]
Area: 14,185 km2[7]

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.[citation needed]

Judea and Samaria Area

Judea and Samaria Area (Hebrew: אֵזוֹר יְהוּדָה וְשׁוֹמְרוֹן‬, Ezor Yehuda VeShomron)

Israeli Population (EoY 2018): 427,800[6]
Arab/Bedouin population: 40,000. (excludes Area A and B).

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.[1]

See also



  1. ^ a b Key to the Codes in the Maps - Districts, Sub-Districts and Natural Regions 2018, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 2021
  2. ^ Districts, Sub-Districts and Natural Regions 2018, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 2021
  3. ^ a b "Transfer of Power (District Commissioners and District Officers) Law, 5724-1964, Laws of the State of Israel vol. 18 no 38. (pp. 70-71)" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Polio Vaccination Centers across Israel". Ministry of Health Israel. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  5. ^ "Maps". www.police.gov.il (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Localities and Population, by District, Sub-District, Religion and Population Group" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2019. p. 1. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Statistical Abstract – Geography (PDF) (Report) (in Hebrew). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2016. p. 15 (PDF p. 9). Retrieved December 24, 2017.