It's official: Upper Nazareth be renamed



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The residents of the city of Upper Nazareth (Natzrat Illit) voted on Friday in favor of changing the name of the city to Nof HaGalil (lit. View of Galilee).

Of the 10,242 residents who participated in the survey, 8,059 voted in favor.

This referendum marks the first time in Israel that a change of name of a city was decided by its inhabitants.

Mayor Ronen Plot thanked the residents for their support during the re-naming and re-naming of the city.

"It was encouraging to see thousands of residents attending the polls and to participate in an extraordinary democratic experience that opens, along with the whole new revolution in the city, the promising new chapter in city life," he said.

Plot has been pressing for several months to rename the city and thereby establish a new identity for the community, distinct from that of its larger Arab neighbor, Nazareth.

First planned in 1954 and formally established in 1957, Upper Nazareth was built by the then government of Prime Minister David Ben Gurion as the basis of a larger plan for Jewish settlement in Galilee.

Built next to Israel's largest Arab city, Nazareth, Upper Nazareth has its own growing Arab population, which now accounts for about a quarter of the city.

The two remain separate and distinct municipalities, however, each with its own unique character.

(The table of Arutz Sheva in North America is keeping you updated until the beginning of Shabbat in New York. The time published automatically in all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israel's time.)

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