Pre-establishment Tel Aviv and its establishment

Plan of Jaffa “S.I.C.A.M.” Project Digitation source: F. Palmer Report on the provision of harbour facilities for Palestine Scale: 1:12,000 Feet Date: 1923 Place: London

Jewish residents in the Europe were called back to Israel under their Zionist conduction. Before the city was even existed Jaffa was the settlement for Jews returned.

Jaffa (Yafa) in part of Map Sheet 13 of Survey of Western Palestine, by Conder and Kitchener, 1872-1877.

The map shows the area of Jaffa during the Ottoman period. Most of the area to the east of the city was agriculture – mainly growing oranges which were exported from the port. On the south and north are vast areas of sand.

Palestine Exploration Foundation (PEF) survey (1866-1877) by Wilson, Conder and Kitchener reported (in Vol 2, Sheet XIII, pp254-258) that,

“The town rises in terraces from the water; it is surrounded on all sides by the wall and ditch, which are decaying rapidly. The port is very bad; the ordinary entrance is through a narrow reef, but in stormy weather the boats go out by a passage on the north side.

The bazaars are among the best in Palestine. The principal buildings in the town are the Latin Hospice, the Serai in the centre of the town, the mosque towards the north. The quarantine is outside the walls on the south, and the Greek monastery on the east, on which side a new gate was made in 1869. The wall is here pulled down…

There is a lighthouse near the custom-house of the town, and near this a little mosque, said to mark the site of the Crusading Church of St. Peter. The principal bazaar is in the north-east corner of the town, just outside the original land gate. The walls date from the end of the eighteenth century, at which period the town was re-built, having been almost entirely destroyed in the fifteenth century. They were commenced by the English, and continued by the Turks after the storming by Kleber in 1799″.

American missionary Ellen Clare Miller, visiting Jaffa in 1867, reported that the town had a population of “about 5000, 1000 of these being Christians, 800 Jews and the rest Moslems”. The city walls were torn down during the 1870s, allowing the city to expand. At the beginning of 20th century population in Jaffa started to expand, some residents began to attempt searching for settlement and communities away from the old city.

In 1909, 60 families were organised up to establish a Ahuzat Bayit neighborhood in north Jaffa, they set up on groups of sand dunes and that day was marked as the establishment day of Tel Aviv.

source: World Zionist Organisation the Central Zionist Archive
Proclamation calling “all the builders, stone cutters and other Hebrew workers in search of work” to join the contractor Yosef Eliahu Schlousch” to “build a gymnasium and houses in Ahuzat Bayit in Jaffa


Miller, Ellen Clare ,”Eastern Sketches — notes of scenery, schools and tent life in Syria and Palestine”. Edinburgh: William Oliphant and Company. 1871. Page 97.

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