Metula (Hebrew: מְטֻלָּה) is a town in the Northern District of Israel. Metula is located between the sites of the Biblical cities of Dan, Abel Bet Ma'akha, and Eyon, bordering Lebanon. In 2018 it had a population of 1,599. Metula is the most northern town in Israel.


  • מְטֻלָּה, מטולה
  • المطلة
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259Mṭulla
 • Also spelledMetulla (unofficial)
Metula and Hermon
Metula is located in Northeast Israel
Metula is located in Israel
Coordinates: 33°16′44″N 35°34′28″E / 33.27889°N 35.57444°ECoordinates: 33°16′44″N 35°34′28″E / 33.27889°N 35.57444°E
 • TypeLocal council
 • Head of MunicipalityHerzel Boker
 • Total9,413 dunams (9.413 km2 or 3.634 sq mi)
 • Total1,599
 • Density170/km2 (440/sq mi)
Name meaning“Belle vue”[2]
Metula DefensePosition
Defensive position used from the 1936–1939 Arab revolt until the 1948 War of Independence


Roman and Byzantine periods

A settlement existed in the area in the Roman and Byzantine periods.[3][4] Ancient wine presses and a mosaic pavement have been found here.[5] A tomb excavated in 1967 contained at least four graves dating from between the late third century and the late sixth century.[5]

Ottoman period

The origin of the town's name is Arabic: المطلة‎‎, romanizedal-Muṭallah, lit. 'the lookout'.[6] In 1816, the traveller Buckingham visited "a large village, called Metully, altogether inhabited by Druses".[7] In 1875, Victor Guérin described Methelleh or Metelleh as a village with a spring, occupied by Druzes from the Hauran who cultivated a garden to the east.[8] Soon afterwards, in 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine recorded "El Mutallah: A small village, built of stone, containing about 100 Druzes, situated on slope of hill, near a large stream, surrounded by arable land."[9]

Founding of the Jewish moshava

When the Druze Rebellion of 1895 broke out, the men of Mutallah joined its ranks. Since the women were not able to cope with the work, the owner of the land, a Christian from Sidon named Jabur Bey Riskalas (Greek Diplomat to Middle East), sold 12,800 dunams of land to Baron de Rothschild's chief officer Joshua Ossovetski.[10][11] It had been inhabited and cultivated by more than 600 Druze tenant farmers. When the Druze Rebellion was put down, the men returned and demanded their tenancy rights back.[11] Ossovetski called in the Turkish authorities, who came to arrest the Druse as deserters and rebels, while Ossovetski offered them paltry compensation to leave the land.[11] Many were unsatisfied and eight years of feuds and violent clashes ensued.[11] Eventually an agreement was reached between the villagers and the Jewish Colonization Association in 1904 for an additional payment of 60,000 francs (3,000 Turkish pounds).[10][11][12] This episode brought much criticism of the methods of Rothschild's agents, including some from other Zionists such as Ahad Ha'am.[11][12][13]

The Jewish moshava settlement was founded in June 1896 by 60 farming families from more established settlements and 20 families of non-farming professions. Most of the founders were immigrants from Russia. Pioneers (halutzim) from Petah Tikva also joined in settling Metula, as did some religious scholars from Safed.

Mandatory period

At the end of World War I, Metula was in the area of French military occupation.[14] The British Zionist Norman Bentwich wrote in 1919:

"Metullah, the most northern outpost, is acquiring a new function as a summer resort for the rest of the country. Its mountain air and its splendid site, high up above a ravine, down which a stream dashes headlong to Jordan, makes it a chosen place in the dry days, and already its few homesteads are crowded in July and August. Metullah is a summer station for the hardy men and women of the colonies; it lies too far from the high road to attract the tourist, but in course of time it, or some other place in the highland region, will become for the Jewish dwellers of the lowlands what a number of hill stations in the Lebanon are already to the Syrians of the plains."[15]

The 1920 boundary agreement between Britain and France stated that Metula was to be in Palestine, but it was not until 1924 that the change to British control was complete.[14] During the intervening years, the residents of Metula even took part in elections for the Lebanese parliament.[14]

Nahal Ayyun Bridge

The bridge over Nahal Ayyun was built by the British in the years 1943-44. On June 17, 1946 (Night of the bridges) all four Palmach battalions (the Haganah elite units) captured and destroyed 11 border bridges. As a consequence, on June 29, 1946 ("Black Sabbath"), the British soldiers imprisoned many Yishuv leaders and Palmach members. The bridge was blown up again by the Palmach during the War of Independence. The bridge was repaired in the 1980s.[16]

Metula Bridge
Nahal Ayyun Bridge
Metula 1948

British army camp at Metula 1948

Metula Bridge i

Metula Bridge after being blown up. 15 February 1948

Metula ii

Members of Yiftach Brigade at Metula. 1948

Metula iii

Metula camp after Yiftach Brigade takeover. 1948

State of Israel

In modern Israel, Metula is known as a wealthy town popular as a tourist destination, especially for Israeli schoolchildren during summer vacation.[17]

The "Good Fence" (1976–2000)

The Good Fence (הגדר הטובה, HaGader HaTova or Fatima Crossing) was a border crossing from Metula to Lebanon opened in 1976 and closed in 2000 after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon. The border crossing allowed the population of southern Lebanon to find jobs in northern Israel, access health services, attend school in Israel, and transport goods.

1985 attack

Metula Memorial
Safari Disaster Memorial site

The Safari Disaster happened during the South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000). In the afternoon of Sunday, March 10, 1985, a convoy of IDF soldiers on their "Safari" model trucks were driving from Metula towards the Lebanese town of Marjayoun. Dozens of soldiers, just returned from Shabbat, were on their way to duty. In accordance with regulations, one armed jeep in the forefront and two on the tail, the soldiers were wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests. They were just crossing the narrow bridge over Nahal Ayyun at 13:45, when they noticed on the other side a red Chevrolet pickup truck driving towards them. The soldiers of the first jeep noticed just one driver, smiling friendly. They signaled him to pull over to let the convoy pass. The first jeep and the first safari truck passed, when at 13:50 a tremendous explosion occurred, which shattered windows even back in Metula. The red truck exploded in a huge fireball, and hurled soldiers through the air. Twelve soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in the explosion.[18]

2006 Lebanon War

During the 2006 Lebanon War, Metula became a ghost town as its population temporarily fled to escape Hezbollah rocket fire. The town was hit by 120 rockets during the war.[17]

Area and population

Metula CanadaCentre
Ice skating in the Canada Centre

The municipality governs a land area of 2,000 dunams (2 km²). According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in September 2003 Metula had a population of 1,400, predominantly Jewish. Metula was declared a local council in 1949. Also according to the CBS, the population over the years was:

  • 1948 – 172
  • 1961 – 261
  • 1972 – 333
  • 1983 – 589
  • 1995 – 942
  • 2008 – 1,500
  • 2018 – 1,599

Geography and climate

Metula Park
Park near Nahal Ayyun

Metula lies in the northernmost point of Israel, next to the Lebanese border 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) at 520 m above sea level.

Winters are usually cold and wet, with an average annual rainfall of 900 mm, while summers are warm and dry. The river Nahal Ayoun has its sources in Lebanon, about seven kilometers north of Metula.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 30
  3. ^ Alexandre, 2008, Metulla
  4. ^ Jaffe, 2010, Metulla
  5. ^ a b Dauphin, 1998, p. 641
  6. ^ Daniel Jacobs, Shirley Eber, Francesca Silvani (1998). Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Rough Guides. p. 254.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Buckingham, 1825, p. 407
  8. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 345–346
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 89
  10. ^ a b Morris, 2001, p. 55
  11. ^ a b c d e f Avneri, 1984, pp. 96-98
  12. ^ a b Yosef Gorney (1987). Zionism and the Arabs, 1882-1948: a study of ideology. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-822721-2.
  13. ^ Alan Dowty (2001). ""A Question That Outweighs All Others": Yitzhak Epstein and Zionist Recognition of the Arab Issue". Israel Studies. 6: 34–54. doi:10.1353/is.2001.0003.
  14. ^ a b c Biger, 2004, p. 134
  15. ^ Bentwich, 1919, p. 96
  16. ^ See municipality plaque at the site
  17. ^ a b Calm Returns to Israeli Border Town Two Years After War
  18. ^


External links

Alexandra Zaretsky

Alexandra "Sasha" Zaretsky (Hebrew: אלכסנדרה זרצקי‎, Russian: Александра Зарецкая, Alexandra Zaretskaya, Belarusian: Аляксандра Зарэцкая) (born December 23, 1987) is an Israeli ice dancer. With her brother Roman Zaretsky, she is the 2009 Skate America bronze medalist, 2009 Golden Spin of Zagreb champion, a three-time Nebelhorn Trophy medalist, and a three-time Israeli national champion. They finished as high as sixth at the World Championships and competed twice at the Winter Olympics, finishing tenth in 2010.

Anarithma metula

Anarithma metula is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mitromorphidae.

Bartschia significans

Bartschia significans is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.


The Buccinidae are a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.The family includes more than 1500 species.


Cerithiella is a genus of minute sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Newtoniellidae.This genus was described by Verrill in 1882.

Evgeni Krasnopolski

Evgeni Krasnopolski (Hebrew: יבגני קרסנופולסקי‎, born 4 October 1988) is an Israeli pair skater. Krasnopolski and Andrea Davidovich were the first pair representing Israel to qualify for the 2014 Olympics. They finished 15th in Sochi. Krasnopolski competed with Danielle Montalbano from 2009 to 2012. He competed for Israel at the 2018 Winter Olympics with Paige Conners in Figure Skating in pairs skating and a team event in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He is famous for the frequency in which he changes partners.

Highway 90 (Israel–Palestine)

Highway 90 is the longest Israeli road, at about 480 kilometres (300 mi), and stretches from Metula and the northern border with Lebanon, along the western side of the Sea of Galilee, through the Jordan River Valley, along the western bank of the Dead Sea (making it the world's lowest road), through the Arabah valley, and until Eilat and the southern border with Egypt on the Red Sea. The central section of the road traverses the Israeli-occupied West Bank; while it passes near the city of Jericho, it runs through Area C and does not enter areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

Ice Hockey Federation of Israel

The Israel Ice Hockey Federation (Hebrew: ההתאחדות הישראלית להוקי קרח‎, Arabic: الاتحاد الاسرائيلي لهوكي الجليد‎, Russian: Израильская федерация хоккея с шайбой) is recognized as the governing body for amateur ice hockey in Israel and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It is often called the Ice Hockey Federation of Israel in order to differentiate it from the IIHF.

Israeli League (ice hockey)

The Israeli League is the top level ice hockey league of Israel. The Haifa Hawks have won the most league titles, with six. For the first time in the league's history, starting in the 2017-18 season, there will be 3 senior divisions (A, B, C) in the league (with a total of 29 senior teams playing).

Julia Shapiro

Julia Shapiro (born 16 December 1984) is a former pair skater who competed for Russia and Israel. Early in her career, she represented Russia with Igor Petrov, Alexei Sokolov, and Dmitri Khromin. With Sokolov, she is the 2000 World Junior bronze medalist. From 2002–05, Shapiro competed with Vadim Akolzin for Israel. They achieved their best ISU Championship result, tenth, at the 2005 European Championships.

Kfar Giladi

Kfar Giladi (Hebrew: כְּפַר גִּלְעָדִי, lit. Giladi Village) is a kibbutz in the Galilee Panhandle of northern Israel. Located south of Metula on the Naftali Mountains above the Hula Valley and along the Lebanese border, it falls under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 676.

Metula (gastropod)

Metula is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

Metula aegrota

Metula aegrota is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Conidae.

Metula gigliottii

Metula gigliottii is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

Olga Danilov

Olga Danilov (Hebrew: אולגה דנילוב; born November 27, 1973) is an Israeli short track speed skater.

Roman Zaretsky

Roman Zaretsky (Hebrew: רומן זרצקי‎, Russian: Роман Зарецкий, Belarusian: Раман Зарэцкі, born December 4, 1983) is an Israeli ice dancer. With his sister, Alexandra Zaretsky, he is the 2009 Skate America bronze medalist, 2009 Golden Spin of Zagreb champion, a three-time Nebelhorn Trophy medalist, and a three-time Israeli national champion. They finished 6th at the World Championships and competed twice at the Winter Olympics, finishing 10th in 2010.

Shadow Thief

Shadow Thief is the name of three fictional supervillains published by DC Comics. The first is a recurring foe of Hawkman named Carl Sands.

Shadow Thief appeared in an episode of the seventh season on the television series Arrow played by actress Carmel Amit.

VLCC Metula oil spill

The VLCC Metula was a supertanker that was involved in an oil spill in Tierra del Fuego, Chile in 1974. The ship was a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), with a length of 1,067 feet, draft of 62 feet and a deadweight ton capacity of 206,000. It was the first VLCC supertanker to be involved in a major oil spill.

The Metula was sailing from Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia with a load of over 196,000 tons of light Arabian crude oil destined for delivery to the Chilean National Oil Company (ENAP) at Quintero, Chile.

On the evening of August 9, 1974, the tanker was passing through the First Narrows area, which is over three and half kilometers wide, of the Strait of Magellan, during severe tidal and current conditions. The Metula cut a corner too sharp, hitting a 40-foot shoal and grounding itself. The difficulty of navigating a ship of such size, with minimum navigation aids, contributed to the accident.

On the second day after the grounding, the Metula swung to starboard, holing and flooding its engine room compartments. The U.S. Coast Guard, at the request of the Chilean government played a role in removing the cargo from the ship.

The tanker released about 47,000 tonnes of Arabian light crude oil and between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. The rough sea conditions resulted in the formation of a water-in-oil emulsion, which then landed on the shores of Tierra del Fuego.

The Metula was refloated on September 25, 1974, and was towed to Isla Grande, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to be scrapped.

No cleanup operation was executed due to the remoteness of the area; on many shorelines, the oil formed hard asphalt pavements. One marsh received thick deposits of mousse, which were still visible two decades after the disaster. By 1998, most of the oil deposits had broken up, though asphalt pavement remained in a relatively sheltered area, making it among the longest-term contamination recorded for an oil spill.

Vadim Akolzin

Vadim Akolzin (Hebrew: ודים אקולזין, Russian: Вадим Аколзин, born October 19, 1982) is an Israeli former pair skater. He achieved his best ISU Championship result, tenth, at the 2005 European Championships with Julia Shapiro.

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