|Grid position||formerly 144/234, now 144/232 PAL|
|Founded||6900 BCE (Atlit Yam)|
13th century(Oirat village)
19th century(Arab village)
1903 (Jewish village settlement)
1948 (Israeli town)
Off the coast of Atlit is a submerged Neolithic village. Atlit was also a Crusader outpost, the Château Pèlerin, which fell to the Mamluks in 1291. During their rule, in the 14th century, it became home to a large concentration of Oirat Mongols. During early Ottoman rule, in the 16th century, it was recorded in tax registers as a port of call and a farm. Later, in the 19th century, it was a small Arab fishing village under the influence of the local al-Madi family.
An adjacent Jewish village was reestablished in 1903 under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, which merged with the remnants of the Crusader fortress village. The Atlit detainee camp is nearby, which was used by the British to intern Jewish refugees and is now a museum. From 1950 until the unification of the municipalities in 2003, Atlit was a local council whose jurisdiction was 14,000 dunams. In 2019 the population was 8,875.
Atlit shows evidence of human habitation since the early Bronze Age.
The Crusaders built Château Pèlerin, one of the largest citadels in the Holy Land, and one of the last remaining Crusader outposts to withstand the assaults of Baibars (see also: Fall of Ruad). Atlit remained in Crusader's hands until 1291. The ruins of the citadel are still visible in modern times. Immediately to the north also lies a large medieval Christian cemetery hosting the graves of men, women and children who lived in the surrounding during the 13th century.
|Geopolitical entity||Mandatory Palestine|
|Date of depopulation||Not known|
In 1296, during the beginnings of Mamluk rule in the coastlands of Palestine, 10,000 to 18,000 Oirat Mongols entered the Mamluk realm as part of a defecting Ilkhanid troop, followed by smaller waves of arrivals. Although they originally established themselves in Cairo, most were eventually relocated to Atlit and northwestern Syria by the Mamluks.
The iskele (port of call or wharf) of Atlit, along with those of nearby Tantura and Tirat Lawza generated annual revenues of 5,000 akces in 1538, during Ottoman rule (1517–1917). In 1596 Atlit was recorded as a farm that paid taxes to the government.
During the rule of Acre governor Sulayman Pasha al-Adil (1805–1819), Atlit was the headquarters of local strongman Mas'ud al-Madi, who was appointed the mutasallim (tax collector/enforcer) of the Atlit coast, which consisted of the territory that stretched from Umm Khalid to Haifa. In 1859, the population was stated to be "180 souls", and their tillage 13 feddans, according to the English consul Rogers.
An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that Atlit had 9 houses and a population of 33, though the population count included men only. In 1881, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine noted the existence of a small Arab village. A population list from about 1887 showed that Atlit had about 180 inhabitants; all Muslims.
In 1903, Jewish settlers built a nearby village which they also called Atlit; The village was established by Edmond James de Rothschild, with most of the land bought from Arab fishermen. A hundred families settled there but much of it was swampland, and many residents succumbed to malaria. Aaron Aaronsohn established an agricultural station in Atlit in 1911, and during World War I the village was used as a base by the Nili organisation.
In the 1922 census of Palestine, during the British Mandate of Palestine period, Athlit had a population of 81; all Muslims, while Athlit Colony had a population of 78 Jews and 3 Muslims. Athlit Salt works had a population of 196 Jews, 1 Muslim and 1 Christian. This had increased in the 1931 census to 413 Muslim, 496 Jews and 39 Christians; in a total of 193 houses.
In 1938 there were 508 Arabs and 224 Jews. The Arab presence underwent a sharp decline in the 1940s due to land sales, so that by the 1945 statistics there were only 150 Arabs still living there (90 Muslims and 60 Christians) alongside 510 Jews.
Atlit 1932 Survey of Palestine 1:20,000
Atlit 1942 (including clearance camp) Survey of Palestine 1:20,000
Atlit quarry 1934. Stone used in construction of Haifa harbour
Atlit 1945 Survey of Palestine 1:250,000
Atlit: Moshe Sharett interned in camp 1947
The circumstances under which the remaining Arabs left in 1948 are unknown. Atlit detainee camp was used by the British authorities to detain Jewish immigrants to Palestine. It is now a museum of the Ha'apala (illegal Jewish immigration 1934–48). The headquarters of Shayetet 13 marine commandos is located at Atlit naval base on the Atlit promontory, placing the Crusader ruins there off-limits for regular visitors.
Atlit was declared a local council in 1950, but in 2004 was incorporated in the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council as one of a handful of Regional Committees. The late Knesset member Pesah Grupper lived in Atlit. He was head of its local council in the years 1959–1962 and 1969–1971.
In August 2021, marine archeologists headed by Yaakov Sharvit from Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of 1,700-year-old coins weighing a total of 6 kg., dated back to the 4th century AD. According to Sharvit, coins demonstrated that they were assembled together and agglutinated because of oxidation of the metals.
Neighborhoods in Atlit are Neve Moshe, Yamit, Giv'at HaPrahim, Giv'at HaBrekhot, Giv'at Sharon, Shoshanat HaYam, HaGoren, Yafe Nof, Argaman, Hofit, Savyonei Atlit and Allon. Atlit is in immediate vicinity of the villages Neve Yam and Ein Carmel.